2017 Board of Fire Commissioners
Rotterdam Fire District #3 Board of Fire Commissioners
Chairman: Jeff Seeley
Firehouse Building: Frank Ruzza
Firematics : Jordan Alburger
Grounds: Keith Collins
Office Operations: Mike Karp
ROTTERDAM FIRE DISTRICT #3 January 1, 2019
Rotterdam Fire District #3 is the political entity responsible for training and equipping the members of the Carman Volunteer Fire Department who provide fire protection to all the residents and businesses of the area known as Carman in the town of Rotterdam. Fire districts are political subdivisions of the state and also district corporations. The fire commissioners and other officers and employees of each fire district are not officers or employees of the town or of any other political subdivision. New York State Town Law Sections 174 and 175 detail the requirements, makeup and responsibilities of fire districts and fire commissioners.
Each fire district in New York State is governed by its own board of five fire commissioners. The commissioners are elected by the qualified voters of the fire district at annual elections, which are held on the second Tuesday of December of each year. Each commissioner is elected for a five-year term commencing on January 1 following the election. The office terms are staggered so that one commissioner is elected each year to ensure there will always be experienced commissioners on the
Board at any given time. Fire district commissioners receive no compensation. Currently, Rotterdam Fire District #3 officers also include the appointed positions of Secretary-Treasurer and Deputy Treasurer. In addition, the fire district employs an Administrative Assistant and a Deputy Secretary, both on a part-time basis. Those employees’ compensation rates are fixed annually by the Board of Fire Commissioners. The fire district retains an attorney to assist, counsel and advise the Board. Each fire district commissioner, treasurer, and secretary must, at the time of election or appointment and throughout the term of office, be a resident of the fire district. A person may not hold the office of Fire Chief or Assistant Fire Chief or Town Councilman or Town Supervisor and Fire Commissioner at the same time.
The Board of Fire Commissioners determines a set day and time for the Board’s monthly meetings. At those public monthly meetings, the Board conducts the business of the fire district with regard to the financial and operational aspects associated with all fire district activities. All monies used for such operations are derived from fire taxes which are levied by the fire district and collected by the town as part of the town tax on each assessed property. In all cases, the Board acts together as a whole.
The Board of Fire Commissioners acts in the interest of the fire district taxpayers while overseeing the fire prevention and fire suppression activities of the Carman Volunteer Fire Department. The Board purchases and maintains the buildings, utilities, furnishings and firefighting equipment necessary for the members of the fire department to respond to emergency situations such as rescue and structural firefighting. The Board also provides funding for proper training of the all-volunteer firefighting force.
By law, fire district taxes may only be used for fire district activities, which include firematic operations. The fire department conducts fundraisers on its own for the financing of its social activities, such as Little League sponsorship and member trips. Fire tax monies cannot be used for such purposes. The fire district provides no funds, either directly or indirectly, to the fire department.
The Board of Fire Commissioners works as a team to accomplish the objectives of the Fire District. The commissioners provide support to one another whenever it is needed. Each commissioner contributes 15 to 25 hours per month on a strictly volunteer basis to get the job done.
A listing of the current individual commissioners and their responsibilities follow:
Jeff Seeley is the Board Chairman. He presides at all the Board’s meetings, assists the Secretary-Treasurer and Administrative Assistant and is responsible for matters concerning Insurance, Capital Projects, Planning and Budgeting. He is also responsible for follow-up regarding other Board members' responsibilities.
Jordan Alburger is accountable for Firematics. He takes charge of matters pertaining to fire district operations that relate to firefighting equipment and vehicles. He also is the conduit for all necessary liaisons between the Board and the Fire Department’s Chief Officers.
Frank Ruzza has responsibility for the Firehouse Building. He is accountable for resolving matters that relate to the Firehouse Building and its contained property, such as non-firefighting equipment.
Keith Collins is responsible for the fire district Grounds. He has the charge of maintaining the grounds, garage building, and the paved areas surrounding the firehouse building.
Mike Karp is responsible for Office Operations Responsibilities. He acts as the office manager, providing necessary support for smooth day to day operation of the Fire District office.