A community effort in turning out the vote on a cold Tuesday resulted in a stunning outcome: the insurgents won a firehouse election for a fire commissioner and a treasurer position at the East Clinton Fire District. We have been writing about this district whose tarnished history was an embarrassment of errors and omissions including missing funds and a continuing effort to build a new firehouse that voters clearly do not want.
Robert Trzcinski is a new commissioner and Macy Sherow is the new treasurer.
The vote was 222 for Trzcinski vs 57 for Dan Harkenrider. Macy Sherow won with 232 vs. 34 for Thomas O'Brien and 13 write-in votes for Maryann Thompsett.
Newly-elected ECFD treasurer Macy Sherow described the historically high voter turnout as "a repudiation of what the community has seen in the past. They responded to our messages emphasizing honesty and transparency... the community wants changes toward transparency and in the culture of the ECFD. "
It is widely anticipated that the tone and substance of the monthly district meetings will change. Two years of audits should be released showing what the finances look like and what funds are on hand. The district budget runs around $500,000 for a district that is little more than half of the Town of Clinton whereas neighboring towns are less than that for the entire town.
It was noted in the aftermath of the election that few fire districts have contested elections.
The commissioner will be dealing with the same issues as other fire districts, but they also have to deal with the tangled history of missing funds.