Gordon Heights, Long Island, New York established their own fire district in the 1950’s. It was the first black fire department and fire district in New York State. It has a proud history that should not be forgotten, but it does need to change with the times.
GHFD is no longer all black and it costs taxpayers in this middle to low-income district more than $1,500 per year just for their fire taxes — three to four times the Suffolk County average. For all that, they average one fire call a day.
The Gordon Heights Department could exist as a satellite with the same firefighters, the same building and the same level of service for one-third of the cost, if it consolidates with the four surrounding districts.
Its time as a separate entity has to come to an end because it is simply unaffordable.
Joyce Bourne, one of the candidates for fire commissioner of Gordon Heights ran on a platform of dissolving the district and merging it with a neighboring one. She is their chance to change the outrageous costs.
It’s hard to imagine why it wasn’t done sooner or why this would have been a problem at all but it wasn’t and it’s been. A few people have been fighting this fight to consolidate the district and they have made all the difference but it’s not been easy, even to the day of the election. It should be a lesson to people who want to give up.
While this was a small fight, it was only a small number of people bucking the establishment who won the day. – Sara
The story picks up with Desiree Moore who is reporting on her friend’s experience:
What do you do when you believe the deck is stacked against you? What do you do when you believe you are battling against all odds? The answer for the truly committed patriot is “you dig your heels deeper — because God is on our side”.
It has been a really long hard fight for those trying to bring sanity to a community so divided. The fear mongering tactics, the class and racial warfare, Chicago-style community organizing were all present in this closely watched fire district election.
Get an idea of what hard working taxpayers in the Gordon Heights fire district face here…GHFD Tax
A few days prior to the election, it was discovered that there were 200 more registered voters in this less than 2 sq. mile square fire district. That may not seem like a lot, but when you weigh it against the approx. 900 homes in the district, it now seems monumental.
Research showed that homes had as high as 14 registered voters living in residences. I will be curious to see, if Brookhaven Town will enforce their newly adopted legally sustainable definition of “family” to those over stacked homes. Read about it here…Rosenfeld Protects Residential areas.
Good old fashioned ground work also enlightened us to the facts that at some on the households, so many of the voters did not live there nor had they ever been aware of the registered voters. But that discussion is for another day!
So now comes the day of reckoning…I arrive as a poll watcher. I certainly was not in a welcoming environment. Whispering, insults, accusations were flying around me for a good part of the time I was there. Many a time ending with “Praise be God.” I guess they must have a different God than I, because I missed that verse in the Bible.
I hope that those who felt animosity towards me would open their thoughts and visit Star Parker’s website…Urban Cure or read her book entitled “Uncle Sam’s Plantation.” It is quite enlightening!
Weighing all the shenanigans I have to admit, I thought the race would be lost (our candidate was Joyce Bourne, a dedicated long time resident). Joyce was running against incumbent James Kelly (a long time fire commissioner) and James Freeman (newly registered to the GHFD from the MI fire district).
As the paper ballots were being counted, I realized that against all odds, I was witnessing a miracle right in front of my eyes. We were up in the count by 10, then 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 +++.
In the end, the race was won by Joyce Bourne with a count of 268 voters. James Kelly had 54 votes, and James Freeman 169 votes. The taxpayers of Gordon Heights have spoken.
Clearly, it is now time for Brookhaven Town to take notice. A new era has dawned!
Thank you to all of those who so graciously have volunteered their time and efforts to ‘collectively’ (in their words) make this miracle happen! Rosalie and Ron, thank you, especially Rosalie Hanson who has led this fight.
So do I believe in miracles? My answer is “You betcha!”