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Anonymous Springfield Patch Post Lambasts Fire Department

By on Feb 20 2014.
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Springfield Fire Department

Springfield Fire Department

On February 19th, an anonymous poster by the name “Amanda P.” offered an opinion on fiscal responsibility regarding the Springfield Fire Department in what starts out as an innocent discussions and quickly turns into a 168-word rant. The piece begins by claiming “our Fire Department is a HUGE tax burden.” An examination of previous municipal budgets show the Fire Department is the second most expensive in the Township, second only to the Police Department. The Fire Department accounts for less than 1/10th of the total municipal appropriations. The municipal portion accounts for less than 32% of the tax bill. After adding up the county bill and the school budget, (all after subtracting revenues), the Fire Department burden to taxpayers is around 3% of the tax bill. For an average Springfield tax bill of $10,000, a property owner pays about $300 a year for the coverage provided by the Fire Department. This does not include the cost of health benefits and pension obligations which factors in to the assessment by the poster that the cost is “unjustified”…”for the amount of work they do.”

“Amanda P.” criticizes the Springfield Fire Department as “very slow” and takes issue with Springfield Fire Department Chief James Sanford “driving a take home vehicle”. Mr. Sanford is a Springfield resident. The anonymous poster suggests “converting the department to part-time” in order to save money “while achieving the same if not better safety coverage.”

This is not the first post by “Amanda P.”  Just five days earlier, the anonymous individual posted a much shorter opinion and pointed to nearby Kenilworth as an example.  Ironically, four months before that “Amanda P.” seemingly praised the Springfield Fire Department for visiting Walton school to educate the students on fire safety and prevention, perhaps sarcastically saying, “That is so nice that the Firefighters had time to stop by Walton school.”

A common critique of online forums like Springfield Patch or NJ.com is the anonymity of commentators.  Other successful outlets, like Springfielder.com and TheAlternativePress.com, do not allow such activity.  Do you have an opinion on the issues raised by “Amanda P.” and would like to respond?  Vote in the poll below or submit an opinion piece to staff@springfielder.com with your full name and street address.  (We will not publish anonymous posts and will include your name but not your address.)

What do you think of the cost and service of the Springfield Fire Department?

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