Fire Elections Could Be Moved [AUDIO]
The state comptroller released an audit Wednesday with a recommendation that fire district elections be moved to the same date as the November general election. The report spurred two lawmakers to renew their push to approve legislation that would turn the suggestion into law.
Do you know when fire district elections are held in New Jersey?
"Not only is it held on the third Saturday in February, it's usually held at some hour like between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. when most people are out doing family things," said Assemblyman Erik Peterson (R-Clinton). "Barely anybody goes out to vote in the election, and in some of these, the budgets are substantial. The people should have a say over how you spend that money."
This marks the fifth consecutive year that Peterson has sponsored this bill. Critics feel the move could politicize fire district elections, but the assemblyman said taxpayers fund the budgets so it's already a political issue. He is also calling for more public notice, to let residents know when and where the fire district elections will be held.
"Because it is at such an obscure time and day, most people don't realize until it's too late, if they do realize it all," Peterson said.
Joining Peterson in calling for the election date change is Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean Jr. (R-Westfield).