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Trustee urges voters to support Fire Department Length of Service Award Program

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

To the citizens of the village of Cazenovia:

I am writing this letter to remind the voters in the village of Cazenovia that in June 2014 village elections there will be a vote on the proposed Fire Department Length of Service Award Program, or, LOSAP. I strongly support this program. After presentations and public hearings on this matter, the village board of Cazenovia unanimously voted to support this program and to present the program to the village of Cazenovia citizens for a vote during this June’s village elections.

What is the LOSAP? This program provides a nominal 401K incentive to qualifying members of the Cazenovia Fire Department who achieve a threshold level of participation in fire department activities such as responding to fire calls, responding emergency calls, participating in rigorous training and attending parades and funerals. Through a predefined point system, members of the fire department become eligible to receive a $700 contribution to a 401K plan administered by the village through a financial services company. It is expected that 40 or so members a year will achieve the minimum necessary points to qualify for this incentive.

Why is LOSAP important to the village of Cazenovia? Volunteer fire departments across our nation are under pressure to attract and retain members. Our local volunteers spend hundreds of hours a year training to be top notch fire fighters — volunteers spending hundreds of hours training how to pull you and your family members from a burning building — seems crazy, but, such is the nature of a volunteer firefighter. In years past, most members of the department lived and worked in Cazenovia – now, many firefighters work outside of the village and struggle to meet the demands of career, family life and their volunteer service to the department.

The village board and I believe that LOSAP provides a needed, perhaps symbolic, incentive to our firefighters to remain active in the department while neighboring communities have had to augment or transition to a professional firefighting department. It is the board’s belief that LOSAP will postpone the day when we need to fund a professional component to our fire department.

In summary, I hope that you will vote yes to LOSAP during the June 2014 village elections. Please feel free to call me if you have any questions.

DAVE PORTER, TRUSTEE AND FIRE COMMISSIONER

VILLAGE OF CAZENOVIA

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