More fuel added to Monday's firehouse meeting

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Questions are slated to be raised on ballots and election procedures for fire district posts at Monday’s   meeting.

Asked who is responsible for what many claimed was a confusing and nearly unintelligible ballot for fire commissioner’s posts last week, Helen Rosenblum, the attorney who serves the Shelter Island Fire District, said she doesn’t know who created it.

“That’s a question I’m going to ask tonight,” Ms. Rosenblum said, referring to the 7:30 p.m. commissioners’ meeting tonight, Monday, at the Center Firehouse.

A department member indicated the ballots were sent to the department from the Suffolk County Board of Elections, but a spokeswoman at the Board of Elections today couldn’t confirm that and said she had no personal knowledge of how the paper ballots were created.

She also said the county has nothing to do with how ballots are counted or how a candidate would protest an election, as write-in candidate John Beresky said he intended to do. Election procedures are left entirely up to each district’s bylaws, the county spokeswoman said.

Without offering specifics, Ms. Rosenblum said there would be changes in the way elections of fire commissioners are handled in in the future.

“My understanding is there’s not an actual conflict of interest,” she said about the fact that those who oversee ballot counting are employed by sitting commissioners. But in view of questions raised by some department members about the election, she said she sought information from other sources about whether or not the district’s handling of such elections represents a conflict of interest.

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