Bill S7486-2013

Relates to fire district nominations for the offices of chief and assistant chiefs

Relates to fire district nominations for the offices of chief and assistant chiefs.

Details

Actions

  • May 15, 2014: REFERRED TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7486

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the town law, in relation to fire district nominations for the offices of chief and assistant chiefs

PURPOSE: To allow fire district employees to serve as chief and deputy chiefs of the fire department.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Amends subdivisions 11-a and 11-b of the town law to clarify that employees of fire districts who are firefighters in the district's fire department may service as chief and assistant chiefs in those departments.

JUSTIFICATION: The question of whether a paid employee of a fire district, who is also a member of the district's fire department can be chosen as a chief or assistant chief, has been the subject of some question. This bill seeks to clarify the issue by amending the town law to state that district employees may serve as chiefs and assistant chiefs. At a time when recruitment and retention of firefighters has become a challenge to many districts, the most qualified firefighters should have the opportunity to assume the leadership roles of a department. Firefighting can often be a dangerous and the command and control of a department at a fire scene requires personnel who have the judgment and knowledge to make crucial decisions. Any person who can serve that role should have the opportunity regardless of whether he or she is employed by the district.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the State.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ S. 7486 A. 9674 S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y May 15, 2014 ___________
IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sen. LAVALLE -- read twice and ordered print- ed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Local Govern- ment IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. THIELE -- read once and referred to the Committee on Local Governments AN ACT to amend the town law, in relation to fire district nominations for the offices of chief and assistant chiefs THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivisions 11-a and 11-b of section 176 of the town law, subdivision 11-a as amended by chapter 351 of the laws of 2000 and subdivision 11-b as amended by chapter 169 of the laws of 1986, are amended to read as follows: 11-a. The members of the fire department of the fire district shall meet at a time and place designated by the board of fire commissioners on the Thursday following the first Tuesday in April of each year and nominate persons WHO MAY BE EMPLOYED BY THE DISTRICT for the offices of chief and such assistant chiefs as may be provided for in the rules and regulations adopted by the board of fire commissioners. If the Thursday following the first Tuesday in April falls upon a day of special reli- gious observance, the board of fire commissioners may designate any other weekday in April after such Thursday as the day upon which to hold such meeting. Each nominee shall be a member of the fire department. In addition, the board of fire commissioners may by resolution require that any or all of such fire department officers shall be residents of the fire district. All nominations shall be made by ballot. The person acting as secretary of such meeting shall promptly notify the fire district secretary in writing of such nominations. The board of fire commissioners at its meeting next succeeding the making of such nomi- nations shall consider the same and shall appoint such persons to the offices to which they have been respectively nominated or, if a nomi- nation is not approved the board of fire commissioners shall call anoth- er meeting of the members of the fire department at which a new nomi-
nation shall be made to take the place of any nomination not approved, which procedure shall continue until a full set of officers is approved. Any such person shall assume the duties of his office as soon as he has been appointed thereto by the board of fire commissioners and shall serve until his successor is appointed. A person who has been convicted of arson in any degree shall not be eligible for nomination, election or appointment to the office of fire department chief or assistant chief. Any fire department chief or assistant chief who is convicted of arson in any degree during his term of office shall be disqualified from completing such term of office. 11-b. The members of the fire department at a regular or special meet- ing of the department held after the month of April but prior to the month of November in any year may adopt a resolution recommending that future meetings for the nomination of the chief and assistant chiefs be held in December, either on the first Thursday, the first Saturday, the Thursday following the first Tuesday, the Saturday following the first Tuesday, the Thursday following the second Tuesday, or the Saturday following the second Tuesday in such month, instead of April as provided in subdivision eleven-a of this section. Provided, however, the Davis Park fire department may adopt a resolution to hold future meetings, for nomination of chief and assistant chiefs, on the last Sunday in Septem- ber. The notice or call for such meeting shall specify that such a resolution will be offered to be voted upon at such meeting. If such resolution is adopted, the board of fire commissioners may adopt a rule or regulation providing that future meetings for the nomination of chief and assistant chiefs shall be held in December, either on the first Thursday, the first Saturday, the Thursday following the first Tuesday, the Saturday following the first Tuesday, the Thursday following the second Tuesday, or the Saturday following the second Tuesday in such month or the last Sunday in September in the Davis Park fire department, as specified in the fire department resolution, instead of April as provided in subdivision eleven-a of this section. Each nominee shall be a member of the fire department and a resident of the state of New York. In addition, the board of fire commissioners may by resolution require that any or all of such fire department officers shall be residents of the fire district. All nominations shall be made by ballot. The person acting as secretary of such meeting shall promptly notify the fire district secretary in writing of such nominations. The board of fire commissioners at its organization meeting in the month of January next succeeding the making of such nominations shall consider the same and shall appoint such persons WHO MAY BE EMPLOYED BY THE DISTRICT to the offices to which they have been respectively nominated or, if a nomi- nation is not approved the board of fire commissioners shall call anoth- er meeting of the members of the fire department at which a new nomi- nation shall be made to take the place of any nomination not approved, which procedure shall continue until a full set of officers is approved. Any such person shall assume the duties of his office as soon as he has been appointed thereto by the board of fire commissioners and shall serve until his successor is appointed. A person who has been convicted of arson in any degree shall not be eligible for nomination, election or appointment to the office of fire department chief or assistant chief. Any fire department chief or assistant chief who is convicted of arson in any degree during his term of office shall be disqualified from completing such term of office. If the date of meetings for the nomination of chief and assistant chiefs is changed from April to September or December pursuant to the
foregoing provisions of this subdivision, the members of the fire department at a regular or special meeting of the department held after the month of April but prior to the month of November in any year may adopt a resolution recommending that future meetings for the nomination for such officers shall be held in April pursuant to the provisions of subdivision eleven-a of this section. The call for such meeting shall specify that such a resolution will be offered to be voted upon at such meeting. If such a resolution is adopted, the board of fire commission- ers may adopt a rule or regulation providing that future meetings for the nomination of chief and assistant chiefs shall be held in April pursuant to the provisions of subdivision eleven-a of this section and that the provisions of such subdivision eleven-a shall again become applicable. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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