Port Chester trustees put off vote on reinstating firefighters

Port Chester village trustees postponed a vote Monday night over whether to reinstate the eight paid firefighters whose positions were eliminated to save money.



Firefighters last week submitted 4,300 signatures, forcing a referendum on whether the village must bring back the firefighters who were let go in May to save Port Chester about $800,000 a year.



During the more than two-hour public comment period at Monday's meeting, some people called for the fire chief to step down. The board of trustees tabled its vote on the firefighters' possible reinstatement, saying the matter would be discussed further and again brought up for vote at its next meeting June 20.



Earlier in the day, three trustees exited Village Hall, abruptly ending a special meeting and preventing the remaining members from voting on whether the petitions are valid.



While the question remains over whether the issue can go to the voters, the village clerk says a volunteer force is enough, and that voters cannot force the board to rehire the professionals.



Firefighters say they fear for the safety of village residents and are not too optimistic about their chances of getting reinstated.


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