Council Votes To Draft Fire District Merger Legislation

It remains unclear how the Fire District will proceed.

According to Town Councilman Jeff Cianciolo, the voice of the people came through loud and clear on Election Day: the vote on merging the EG Fire District with the Town of East Greenwich passed by a 2-to-1 margin.

"I think it's incumbent on us to try to work with the Fire District and our state legislators to prepare legislation to merge the district with the town," Cianciolo said at Monday night's Town Council meeting at Swift Community Center.

Town Manager Bill Sequino said he'd spoken to Fire Commission Chair Bill Daly earlier in the day and Daly told him the commissioners would be discussing the referendum at their next meeting, Dec. 20. Sequino said Daly did not tip his hand as to the direction of those talks.

According to Town Council President Michael Isaacs, merger legislation would have to be drawn up by February to be considered during the next legislative session, which starts in January. 

Cianciolo told his colleagues he had fire district merger templates from other Rhode Island communities to use as a starting point. The Council passed a motion to draft the merger legislation by a 4-0 vote. Councilman Mike Kiernan was absent.

The Council and the Fire District hold a joint meeting on Feb. 4. 

EG Patch will be reporting other issues from Monday night's meeting in coming days.

BOB I December 11, 2012 at 12:42 PM
this is a money grab for sure.
Cecil B DeMille December 11, 2012 at 02:44 PM
One only need to look at what's happening in Coventry now to know this is a good idea. While the Fire District has run in the black for some time the manner in which the management of the Fire Dsitrict has been selected and the lack of any real oversight from the townspeople lends itself to an unhappy ending.
WTF December 11, 2012 at 04:58 PM
So much for "the non-binding referendum" . maybe before any legislation is proposed to takeover we should working on the budget without any distractions. Or are we relying on Fire District monies?
EG Lurker December 11, 2012 at 08:19 PM
So astute, Bob - this article SCREAMS money grab, with so many details regarding how things are going to change, what things are going to get cut, what other things will get funded with FD money, et al... Please...the pro-FD people on here need to stop living in their little microcosm, and instead see that the townspeople asked for this, something that should be better for everyone (except the FD fiefdom) involved...
EG Lurker December 11, 2012 at 08:23 PM
I find it interesting that Councilman Kiernan - a dissenter with the proposed merger - was absent from this particular meeting, where the first council action on the merger took place...
Are you kidding me December 12, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Typical of a politician. SUDDENLY a NON-BINDING resolution has become a mandate. This is a blatent attempt by the Town to get the Fire Districts money. Maybe this is an example of EXACTLY why the fire district was kept separate, to keep politics out of it. I remember the councilman talking about better governance and that smaller government was better but remember smaller government doesn't guarantee better government it just guarantees the poltician more power. NO THANKS!
EG Lurker December 12, 2012 at 03:38 PM
So the town votes in favor of the merger, and now any action by the town council is seen as a mandate? What exactly would you suggest should be next steps? The town is merely acting upon the will of the people. This picture you pro-FD paint of the gestapo town council running rampant with the FD monies is laughable...
BOB I December 13, 2012 at 01:08 PM
eg lurker the only thing laughable is you. the town has been trying for years to take over the fire district, and now by a"NON BINDINGREFERENDUM, they have a mandate to do so? i don't think so
Michael Kiernan December 26, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Still a dissenter at this point and time. I've seen nothing to show that a merger will provide us with any savings. Honestly, I was not at that meeting because I was at the Pat's game. We have more to talk about regarding this but I am not convinced that we need to make a change at this point. Sorry to have missed the discussion that night.
Chuck Newton December 26, 2012 at 05:32 AM
Everyone needs to understand that binding vs non-binding is simply irrelevant here. As separate legal entities, neither can legally dictate the life of the other, and there was never an option that the referendum be binding vs non-binding. That being said, a 2-1 vote would be considered a mandate by most reasonable observers...
minivanhell December 26, 2012 at 02:42 PM
I'm not sure about binding vs non-binding being relevant. You filed an ethics complaint so I'd be interested in what the state would have to say on that point. Furthermore I think making the fire department part of district/county wide program would be more cost effective than adding it to the town's budget. I agree with Mr. Kiernan
BOB I December 26, 2012 at 04:05 PM
it was proposed as non-binding if it's irrelevant why was the question even asked? i believe your comment is irrelevant.
EG Lurker December 26, 2012 at 05:20 PM
A Pat's game? Glad the issues of our town are so important to all of the council members.


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