June 14, 2006

East Hampton Village Vote On Tap

Residents of East Hampton Village are once again subscribing to the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" philosophy. For the last decade at least, contested races for seats on the village board have been in scant supply. This year is no different.

Incumbents Elbert Edwards and Dave Brown are running for re-election. The term is four years, and both are running unopposed. Edwards has served 29 years and Brown is finishing up his fourteenth. Amazingly, neither has enjoyed the longest stint on the board. Trustee Edwin Sherrill has served 30 years.

While the election could be considered a "gimme" for both candidates, there is one proposition on the ballot board members hope draws support.

Most municipalities have programs that give pension benefits to volunteer firefighters. The amount is currently set at $20 per month per year of service. For example, a volunteer who served for 20 years is eligible to receive a $400 per month pension.

Recently the state legislature, which holds jurisdiction over the program, authorized an increase of the benefit to $30 per month. The only caveat is that the initiative must be subject to a voter referendum. It will be on the ballot on Election Day next Tuesday.

Voting will be held at the ambulance bay of the Emergency Services Building on Cedar Street from noon to 9 p.m. Absentee ballots will be available at Village Hall on Main Street until Monday.

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