On Friday we tackled the concept that in New York State, the municipal sponsor must approve the annual listing of firefighters that earned service credit (50 points) during the year.
This brings us to one of the more frequently misunderstood portions the statute. Here is §219-a(d) of the New York State General Municipal Law:
(d) The governing board of each such political subdivision shall review the list of each volunteer fire company and approve the final annual certification. The approved list of certified members shall then be returned to each company and posted for at least thirty days for review by members.
As you can see, the listing should first be approved by the governing board, then posted for thirty days. Frequently, departments post the points for 30 days before giving them to the municipal board for approval. Although I think posting them before the board approves them makes sense in a lot of ways, it isn't what the statute requires.
As a vendor, I'm not overly concerned that the correct order is followed. I believe it is more important that the list actually be posted for 30 days, and that there is documentation that it was posted for at least 30 days, than whether it is posted before or after the municipal board approves it. But, if you care to be in complete compliance with the statute, the 30-day posting should begin after board approval. Of course, there is no reason a fire company couldn't post it twice - once before the board meeting and once after.
Tomorrow we'll tackle the appeals process during the 30-day posting period.
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