Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Greece Fire District Rip-Offs

 
From your Town/County tax bills ...
 
Greece Ridge Fire 7.1 % increase
 
Barnard Fire District 5.9% increase
 
N. Greece Fire District 5.6% increase
 
Lake Shore Fire District 1.9% increase
 




 
RRFD Chief, Bud Phillips (WHEC-TV)
SCATS ~~ If you own a home valued at the average assessment of $120,000 in the Ridge Rd. FD, you are paying just under 25% of your total Greece/Monroe County tax bill for fire protection! That's too much!

  
 

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't this taxing authority, like towns and school districts, come under he Governor's tax cap?

Anonymous said...

Maybe the fire chief at Greece Ridge should work more than 4 hours a day on cutting expenses instead of "fooling" the public with HIS "volunteer fundraising mailer."
FYI: he makes $125,000+, take-home car, answers to NO ONE!

Anonymous said...

If that isn't a call for making Greece one Fire District .

SCATS said...

To 5:19PM ~~ Great question.

To 5:39PM ~~ You forgot to mention that Greece's infamous "person of interest" keeps busy warming his window seat at Panera Bread several days/week ;)

To 6:27PM ~~ I'd agree, except they'd probably consolidate it all into RRFD!

Anonymous said...

To 5:19 pm.

They do come under the tax cap, however the tax cap in not mandatory. The district can vote to go over it by a majority vote of the commissioners / board members.

SCATS said...

TY 8:31PM. Challenging them is similar to going up against some sort of secret society ... if you don't know the handshake, you can't get anywhere.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the lake shore district in the only one listening to the taxpayers..enough is enough!

Anonymous said...

5:24. Has nothing to as you suggest. I just happens to the smallest fire district in Greece.I
I question your 25% figure. Although I have never conducted a study into fire fighter taxation over the years,I have done a 30 plus year investigation into the cost of maintaining our own PD, I am In possession of information in that regard spanning those years,
My data indicates that for the past 10 yrs, $.30 of every tax dollar you pay in your combined County, Town tax
Bill
goes toward the support of the GPD.Thus my challenge of that $.25 / dollar claim.
Interesting enough in connection to what we pay to support the GPD, my info gathered from surrounding large towns with their own PD, the corresponding costs to those towns parallel our costs per tax dollar.

SCATS said...

To 7:31AM ~~ You can challenge my figure all you like but it doesn't change the facts! Perhaps you should look at some different tax bills (like I have) to see the reality.

Just so we're clear, we're talking about the cost of keeping RRFD's palatial trappings running & in repair, not the cost of running GPD, a different animal (sorry Chip) altogether.

Anonymous said...

Your tax bill reflects the increase in your property assessment I won't argue with you about your own year to tear percentage increases. But is not an accurate barometer that can reflect a town wide increase
I know my facts gathered over the years are accurate and not pulled out of a hat.
For the sake of argument, let's take other parts of your tax bill that supports the costs of various services contained in the operating budgets of the town and county.Using your 25% claim as a bench mark! let us now ad my solid numbers that reflect 30% to support local police services for Greece , That would leave only
45% left to support the Department of Public Works, which ,by the way ,is second only to the Public Safety budget in terms of operating cost, the courts, the library and administrative costs related to governmental operations as well as support services, such as Building ,Engineering depts etc, simply does not add up. If fact it is realistically impossible.
Now another fact related to my years of research on this subject and is also consistant with the figures garnered from the other large towns,in regards to your. County portion of you combined tax burden , is this fact.The portion of the tax bill for all properties in Monroe County to support the Sheriff's. Road patrol and jail, interestingly represents 30% of that budget's costs for those two Public Safety operations.
Realistically, and the main reason that drove my multi year study was this set of circumstances that reveal an example of unfair taxation by the county in this particular area. The term TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION is exemplified in this manner.
Given my previous remarks relative to the costs incurred by towns supporting their own PD's.They would be , naming only the largest, the City, Greece, Gates Brighton, Irondeqouit, and Webster,.In the case if each of those mentioned taxpayers in those communities combined costs for public safety services is a staggering 60%"while with the exception of the jail, receive little or no return for the county portion of the tax burden.To wit; try and think about the last time you called 911 from Greece and a sheriffs car showed up? it won't happen! While back, I had occasion to test that fact. Not satisfied with the response to a situation involving myself by a member of the GPD, After tellin the kid he was useless, I called 911. Ba second time requesting a sheriff car to be dispatched to deal with my problem. Iwas taken back by the response from the dispatcher . She said she could not send a sheriffs car to my residence, that all requests for service of this nature, must be handled by Greece. The only exception to that policy would be an extreme emergency and no GPD cars were available. Under questioning she confirmed this as policy.
Folks, there us a solution that would prove more effective and cost effective. But it would involve CHANGE. Something that residents of this town and county fear worse than death itself



Anonymous said...

Your tax bill reflects the increase in your property assessment I won't argue with you about your own year to tear percentage increases. But is not an accurate barometer that can reflect a town wide increase
I know my facts gathered over the years are accurate and not pulled out of a hat.
For the sake of argument, let's take other parts of your tax bill that supports the costs of various services contained in the operating budgets of the town and county.Using your 25% claim as a bench mark! let us now ad my solid numbers that reflect 30% to support local police services for Greece , That would leave only
45% left to support the Department of Public Works, which ,by the way ,is second only to the Public Safety budget in terms of operating cost, the courts, the library and administrative costs related to governmental operations as well as support services, such as Building ,Engineering depts etc, simply does not add up. If fact it is realistically impossible.
Now another fact related to my years of research on this subject and is also consistant with the figures garnered from the other large towns,in regards to your. County portion of you combined tax burden , is this fact.The portion of the tax bill for all properties in Monroe County to support the Sheriff's. Road patrol and jail, interestingly represents 30% of that budget's costs for those two Public Safety operations.
Realistically, and the main reason that drove my multi year study was this set of circumstances that reveal an example of unfair taxation by the county in this particular area. The term TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION is exemplified in this manner.
Given my previous remarks relative to the costs incurred by towns supporting their own PD's.They would be , naming only the largest, the City, Greece, Gates Brighton, Irondeqouit, and Webster,.In the case if each of those mentioned taxpayers in those communities combined costs for public safety services is a staggering 60%"while with the exception of the jail, receive little or no return for the county portion of the tax burden.To wit; try and think about the last time you called 911 from Greece and a sheriffs car showed up? it won't happen! While back, I had occasion to test that fact. Not satisfied with the response to a situation involving myself by a member of the GPD, After tellin the kid he was useless, I called 911. Ba second time requesting a sheriff car to be dispatched to deal with my problem. Iwas taken back by the response from the dispatcher . She said she could not send a sheriffs car to my residence, that all requests for service of this nature, must be handled by Greece. The only exception to that policy would be an extreme emergency and no GPD cars were available. Under questioning she confirmed this as policy.
Folks, there us a solution that would prove more effective and cost effective. But it would involve CHANGE. Something that residents of this town and county fear worse than death itself

Anonymous said...

Scats , I'm sorry, I realize now the point you were raising. It really has nothing to do with the town county tax levy but is stand alone charge on everyone's tax bill. Therefore I will concede to your projections regarding that. portion of the tax bill rose by 25%. However, my budget facts are correct and the point of my post is contained in one word
CONSOLIDATION, Consolidation of all Fire and Police services in. Monroe County.

SCATS said...

To 2:15PM ~~ I've never said this was from my personal tax bill. In fact, I've collected info from several people who live in different fire districts to make this posting.

To 2:43PM ~~ Thank God.

To be clear, the RRFD portion of a resident's tax bill is shown at a rate of $5.229872/ $1000 of valuation. Multiply by 120 to get the figure that will be just under 25% of an AVERAGE Greece homeowner's total bill!

Anonymous said...

"Firefighter " how does the title correlate to the delivery of EMS services. 85 to 90 percent of fire department calls for service are now calls for ems delivery. We have a contract and volunteer ems provider in the town, redundant yes efficient I am not so sure. I would urge all who read this to go to the see through NY website and take a look at the compensation and benefit package of the Fire Service employees of any of the districts in Greece then check around and find out what the ems provider compensation is. Will be a real eye opener for sure. I saw an article recently in the Boston Globe news paper titled "We have plenty of Firefighters but where are the fires? Things really have got to change. Greece used to be a predominantly volunteer fire service now we cannot get by without paid unionized fire personnel.

Anonymous said...

2:15 is right on . What he didn't say was where our 30% County tax for no show sheriff s patrols in Greece actually goes. It goes to subsidize the sheriffs coverage for all other Monroe County towns that don't have their own department. The 30% they pay in their tax bill in no way affords them the coverage they enjoy at our expense? That s right you heard it right. Without our Contribution there is no way Henrietta, Mendon, Perinton, Chili Pittsford would have the number of cars daily in those area. Without our subsidy , the Sheriff s road patrol would number close to 100 deputies instead of the current 220 deputies . Think about that if you will. That's how they are able to reside in $300.000 plus homes . Ridiculously low tax bills as compared to ours on $125.000 homes. Check it out as I did, it will make you sick if you do

SCATS said...

To 5:41PM ~~ Please define "call for service." At RRFD, they count every senior who stops by for a BP check as a "call for service." They also count the parents who stop in to get the child safety seat installation checked. And when they actually go across the street to check BPs in the mall, every single one gets counted as a "call for service." When you add these facts to their bogus, annual fundraiser for "volunteers" and the shadows that persist about their chief, they should be ashamed!!

To 6:34PM ~~ I agree. It's another rip-off. When are we going to get tired of getting reamed in Greece?

Anonymous said...

5:41. A couple of your facts are off. More like 50/50 ems and fire. I would like for you to name the volunteer ambulance service in greece. Isn't one.

SCATS said...

To 10:37PM ~~ Come on now. Surely you realize that in Greece we don't say what we mean, or mean what we say ;)

Anonymous said...

If you have issues with the tax rate how about showing up for your fire districts commission meetings. You'll be surprised how your money gets spent. Better yet how about showing up to vote for the commissioners. After all they are the ones who spend your tax money and create the budgets

SCATS said...

To 11:31AM ~~ First of all, how do you know I haven't been to a commission meeting? Oh I know... Because they are kept quiet ... for a reason. Let's put the responsibility right back onto the ELECTEDS to do their job. They should be educating & informing the community about their needs, expenditures, etc. instead of sitting on their arses emulating Phillips at Panera.

Charlie Hubbard said...

to 11:31
Any and all budgets and or taxes should fall to our elected officials - our town board - it is THEY who should be held accountable for our tax bills - no more excuses.
We went thru this with the tax breaks granted by COMIDA (tax increases for the rest of us) bypassing our elected officials - NO, NO, NO let the board go on record with their vote. This is what should happen with the budgets(taxes) of these fire districts.

Anonymous said...

The sign says Greece Volunteer Ambulance GVA on the building and on the vehicles. 50/50 fire and ems you are dreaming. More like I said 80-85 percent ems and other non fire stuff. Some of these Fire departments have not had a structure fire in the last 16 months.

Anonymous said...

Hey buddy. The commisson meeting are published in the paper and if you can't read you can call your fire district. They will be happy to tell you.

SCATS said...

To 6:21PM ~~ Yes, I've seen them in the teeny tiny font used for most public notices in the pages no one reads. Nevermind the fact that the minority subscribe to PRINT PAPERS these days.

As I said before, they (the commissioners) should be educating & informing the community about their needs, expenditures, etc. instead of sitting on their arses emulating Phillips at Panera.

Anonymous said...

6:16 PM. Actually what you said was 85-90% Do your homework Greece Volunteer Ambulance is anything but a volunteer ambulance. Fully staffed with career EMT's, Paramedics and support staff supplemented by some volunteers and dispatched by the North Greece Fire District's career dispatchers and GVA charges for services. Not sure what you may consider a structure fire but if you mean a fully involved building fire it may possibly mean that due to fully staffed 24/7 departments the manpower and equipment is arriving with in 3-5 minutes and preventing whatever fire they find from extending.

SCATS said...

To 9:55AM ~~ OR ... it may just be luck!

Charlie Hubbard said...

One of the reasons why N.Y.S. has the most unfriendly business climate in the country is right here - taxing authorities with little to no oversight.
A prior posting indicated these commissioners are allowed to override the tax cap. I was not aware of this but if so that should concern us all. WHY?
My point is the 'town board' should be providing financial (taxing)oversight. When a company wants to locate here they want to know what their total tax bill is going to be and as of now town officials (to be honest) will have to tell that company 'they' only have oversight over 'part' of that tax bill - sorry!!

I have written many times about the dangers of committees and or commissions having unchecked taxing authority (like comida) well here it is. It's time our elected officials grew a backbone and dealt with it. These type of property tax increases will have devastating effects on our communities economic well being for years to come.

SCATS said...

Charlie, you've hit the nail squarely on its head! Without a cap, no one can predict the next year's tax bill. If I'm not mistaken, this is the second year in a row that RRFD exceeded 7%! They should NOT be needing 25% of anyone's tax bill.

Anonymous said...

Did my homework know what the deal is now go read your Union news letter and polish your medals

Charlie Hubbard said...

I have now found out that the override of the tax cap is as described by the earlier posting. THAT should concern us all. It is not so much the dollars as the 'entitlement mentality' of those doing so. Why these taxing entities cannot operate within the confines of the tax cap certainly should come under question - by who? Are they not a part of the community looking to improve it's financial standing and attractiveness to companies looking for a new home? I would remind readers that the tax cap came about as a result of taxing entities being 'out of control'.

Anonymous said...

1:03 It's more about Coumo's presidential ambitions and reelection

Anonymous said...

If the facts posted about our county town tax bill regarding over charging for public safety services we don't get, then it would seem to me we are talking nicklels and dimes here about fire services. If true, as a Greece tax payer this really pisses me off.

I noticed you agreed that we are being ripped off. Is there any way to verify these alledged facts and if true, what can be done to end this rip off of a HUGE portion of my yearly county tax bill. Why should I pay twice to support my right to police protection, receive only 50^% in return and the other half to help those POOR souls in Pittsford.?

SCATS said...

To 7:31AM ~~ It's more than nickles & dimes on fire services! There's a DUPLICATION of services, equipment, facilities and personnel to keep 4 separate FDs up & running! It's true that you can't get the Sheriff to come to your house in Greece, but did you know the FDs hire their own DISPATCHERS, instead of relying on 911? I wonder if the cops do that too? Something smells with ALL of our safety services.

Anonymous said...

Not all of the Greece Departments have their own dispatchers. RRFD and Barnard utilize the 9-1-1 center. N Greece and Lakeshore are dispatched by the N Greece Dispatchers.

SCATS said...

To 5PM ~~ Why do they hire ANY dispatchers? That's what 911 is supposed to be for!! We pay extra taxes to support 911 services in various places outside our property tax bills besides.

My understanding is that NGFD alone employs 5 fulltime and several part-time dispatchers. THAT'S A DUPLICATION OF SERVICES. That adds up fast! That's merely ONE example from ONE FD!

Anonymous said...

911 is no bargain, and is S L O W.

911 Center charges Barnard and RRFD for dispatching. With the new radio systems and alphanumeric pagers 911 should be lightning fast, but it isn't and never will be.

A Department Dispatcher who knows his District, manpower and equipment will have trucks to the door faster. The dispatcher sitting atop Paddie Hill knows his weather and wind conditions, and locks onto each job and stays with the job. 911 is just a Civil Servant collecting a paycheck.

There are plenty of cutbacks that can and could have been made in Greece Fire Districts, which have become little Union Kingdoms, but dispatch isn't one of them.

SCATS said...

To 10:19PM ~~ If what you say is true, then why are people in the RRFD paying such high taxes when the fate of their calls for help are in the questionable hands of 911 staffers instead of GRFD employees??

I never said 911 was a bargain but we ARE DUPLICATING SERVICES even if they aren't comparable in quality. It's an issue the firemen should be shouting from the hills about in an effort to inform the community.

Anonymous said...

DAMN good question SCATS!

Honestly, I wish I had the answers, but I don't.
Beyond the Hospital and Mall all Districts in Town pretty much protect the same class of property and employ similarly trained UNION members. Lakeshore may have less high density housing & industrial, I've never looked at those numbers.

NGFD is contracted to dispatch both Lakeshore and GVA and that income offsets some of NG's cost, not sure how much though.

I also haven't paid much attention to the numbers, but a big cost to RRFD may well be covering for City Fire Dept. The City is undermanned and under equipped but won't improve as long as RRFD and Gates back them. It should be looked at if it can be broken out.

The GRFD/RRFD SCAM needs some serious looking into, including where the money came from to buy the Grainge Hall and what that costs annually to maintain. What the hell is that building used for related to firefighting anyhow?

There also needs to be some looking into the 2% money situation. It looks like GRFD is actually 5 ancient firemen in wheelchairs laundering $$$$$$$ to IAFF employees of RRFD. Nobody will talk about it though, and not even the State will look at the books under a microscope.

Does RRFD make more runs? Nobody knows because the numbers are cooked with things like BP Checks.

Is it NECESSARY for a Squad and a PUMPER to make every EMS run together? Damn sure looks like featherbedding to me, but I can't pull solid numbers to back my thinking. It sure seems like I see more white trucks running Ridge Rd with red lights than are necessary though.

Fortunately, I live in NGFD territory, and I do know the 7 digit number to Pddie Hill. It's a 4 minute save over dialing 911, be it Fire or EMS. I even get to talk to a Dispatcher rather than a Civil Servant Telecomunicator who interfaces with a keyboard & screen. Monroe County's 911 Center is SCREWED up and has been since it began in the 80s with Microfiche machines because somebody didn't like the state of the art package from Bell. Hell, Monroe County taxpayers still pony up a chunk for the 911 number assignment from whoever owns the phone company today, and have since 911 went on line.

Bottom line, nobody cares, it's only taxpayer money.

Anonymous said...

12:54, the Grange wasn't purchased. It was donated by the Grange Association, and they still use it monthly. The squad and engine also don't run EMS calls together (they do roll out together on fire related runs though) and the 2% money doesn't trickle down to the employees. If it does I haven't saw a dime of it. You see more trucks rolling down the Ridge because people are calling 911 at an ever increasing rate. Let's get your facts straight about a district you don't even live in. Also, not every person who gets a BP at the mall gets a separate incident number. It's one number for the whole event. That's a fact...look at the fire reports(used for accountability) or call downtown and ask. As for duplication of services, I agree with what you all are saying. Most firefighters would love to consolidate. However, there are too many Chiefs who want to be kings and too many commissioners that would never go for it. Get your facts straight.

SCATS said...

To 10:04PM ~~ I find it MOST interesting that your "facts" are totally opposed to facts posted by Greece firefighters on another forum where no one disputed them. But I'm used to the fact that reality is a tough pill for some to swallow. Try taking it with plenty of water.

Anonymous said...

THE QUESTION remains unanswered!
WHERE is the 2% money GRFD collected?
HOW has it been expended over the last 10 years?

RRFD has some explaining to do!

WHAT happened to Greece Taxpayers getting reimbursed for the cellar pumping trip to the Southern Tier?

Some taxpayers are still waiting for those answers. We'll keep asking.

Seems like the only thing in RRFD that's white are the trucks. Records of funds seem to be awfully gray.

Anonymous said...

I will answer what I can...
2% money is not collected by GRFD or RRFD. It is collected by the Greece Ridge Exempt Fireman's association. That money, as stated by the charter law is for the good and welfare of all members of the organization. It is very restricted on what it can be used for. For specifics, I suggest you FOIL it.
Cellar pumping- reimbursement was from FEMA. For specifics on that, call the Fire Chief 453-1201.
Gray records- nothing is hidden, can't be. The budget is on the district website. When all else fails, submit a request for information (FOIL) or call the chief.

SCATS said...

To 6:53PM ~~ I have always believed, and still do, that if an organization wishes to be seen as "transparent" then they will WORK TO RETAIN THEIR INTEGRITY by telling us all they can. FOILing docs related to how public funds are expended smacks of being less than forthright. Just my opinion.

Susan Malinka said...

I am completely satisfied and more than happy to pay my share of taxes for the Fire and police departments of Greece NY. If you have ever needed them, their response time is unrivaled.

Heck, I'd pay MORE if needed. I don't care if the chief lives at Panera Bread. If he is doing his job, it doesn't matter.

Thank you Greece police and Fire departments, you are WONDERFUL!

SCATS said...

To Susan Malinka ~~ Congratulations. YOU are the quintessential Greece resident who "doesn't care" about what goes on in our little Peyton Place. Because there are so many of you, the corruption will never end.

Please explain HOW BP could be doing his job from Panera Bread??? Many of us would love to know this secret!

PS ~~ I'll be sending my fire district portion of my tax bill (in excess of $500) to you for payment, since you "don't care."