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Nassau County Legislature

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October 6, 2006

Denenberg and Majority Legislators join with firefighters to demand no budget changes to critical public safety funds

Calls on County Executive to Keep Fire Funds Separate

Nassau County Legislator Dave Denenberg (D-Merrick), joined by his fellow Nassau Legislators, this week joined with Nassau County Fire Commission Chairman Andrew DeMartin and other fire service leaders to ask Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi to leave funds for critical county-based fire services and programs in dedicated budget lines.

“Let’s not go back to the days of incomprehensible budgeting,” said Legislator Denenberg. “The taxpayers of this county deserve transparent budgeting practices and placing the Fire Commission’s budget in the general fund makes it invisible. This vital public safety department needs to be highlighted and must stand alone.”

Fire service leaders feel strongly that the co-mingling of funds for vital public safety programs into a general budget line, that includes a wide array of County services, could result in potential funding shortfalls for these important operations and programs – especially when the County faces budget deficits like the ones forecasted over the next several years.

Since 1992, the budgets for the Fire Marshal’s office, fire communications and the County’s annual contribution to the budget of the Fire Service Academy have been placed in dedicated budget lines, including separate taxing lines on property tax bills.

“We feel strongly that the co-mingling of funds for vital public safety programs into a general fund could result in potential funding shortfalls for these important operations and programs,” said Fire Commissioner DeMartin, “especially when the County faces budget deficits like the ones predicted over the next several years.”