The following was posted by Yossi Wolk on Twitter
Lakewood Fire District elections take place this Saturday, during which the public can weigh in on the annual budget. As per my understanding, the district plans to raise spending DEEPLY, but will transition to a borrowing system, so taxpayers won’t see an immediate hike.
The increase is in order to allow the district to double the number of members on the force. This may be a necessary move, but the lack of transparency is troubling. (It may not be the district’s fault – perhaps the media is just under-reporting it.)
Issue is – even if the public rejects the budget, as has happened before, the Committee can approve it and override the public vote. The Committee will often make token amendments and then give their stamp to the fire budget.
By “Committee”, I refer to the Lakewood Township Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Fire District Budget.