With Orange Township firefighter’s jobs hanging in the balance, a missed deadline could mean more cuts.
After voters turned down a fire levy in November, trustees vowed to put a decreased version on the February ballot. However, all is on the line after the levy was files two minutes late.
“We did everything in our power to meet the deadline,” Orange Township Asst. Chief Matt Noble said.
Noble said that the department would move forward as if a tax levy would be on the February ballot.
Karla Herron, the director of Delaware County’s Board of Elections, said that there was a question about the township’s filing method.
“Orange Township to go on the February ballot, they filed the day after the election, which is the filing deadline,” Herron said. “They filed email.”
Herron said it had never been done before.
Noble said that the township also hand-delivered a levy request to the board of elections, but that request did not make the 4 p.m. deadline.
“We did our best to get the hard copy up there and they stamped it at 4:02,” Noble said.
Noble says the department is already facing cuts after a failed November levy. On Friday, the township trustees voted to begin the process of laying off firefighters.
“It is too late, whether it’s a half hour late or two minutes,” Herron said. “When the deadline is four o’clock, it’s four o’clock.”
The assistant chief said that the two-minute delay could mean more cuts for the department.
“It could cost in staffing, the cost in staffing could increase our response times,” Noble said.
Noble said that when it comes to fighting fires, every second matters and 120 of them could determine whether the department's request will go on the ballot.
The board of elections will meet Thursday morning to decide whether the electronic filing is acceptable.
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