As a resident of Cherry Hill, I can tell you that this is a town of 77,000 municipally disengaged citizens. For example, in the 2014 General Election, just 34% of residents voted. But one very important thing to mention about that election was that everyone at least knew there was going to be an election. The county sent out sample ballots and of course, the election occurred on Election Day.
Even though not nearly enough of us regularly vote here in Cherry Hill, I can’t hold the residents of this town accountable for the probable despicable voting results for the Fire Department Budget.
Apparently, there was an election this past Saturday, February 21st for the Cherry Hill Fire Budget.
Upon a quick informal poll of my neighbors, none of us received any mail notification. Oddly enough, though, the flyer that was supposed to be sent to residents is linked on the Fire Department’s web page. The same flyer is linked on the Fire Department’s Facebook page, but Facebook is not an appropriate medium of public service announcements. Besides, only 7,761 people “like” the Department’s Facebook page. If this was to be taken as a serious medium of public information, roughly 70,000 residents are missing the memo.
Maybe some areas of the town did receive a mailed flyer, but I know for sure that almost no residents of the Barclay Farms or Kingston Estates neighborhoods received any mailed flyer. Therefore, to my knowledge, just two people voted between the two neighborhoods.
A visit from the two voters to my workplace this past Saturday night is the only reason as to why I know that I missed an election. They also informed me that as of 7pm, the total number of votes only resided in the 60’s.
I’d like to provide the readers of this post with election results, but following a phone call to the Fire Department, results, “…will be released sometime this week”.
I don’t know the specifics about approving or rejecting a municipal fire department’s budget. What happens if it gets voted down? Do the fire engines stop coming? Do we just vote “Yes” or “No”? Who knows.
But for now, I do know that if there is an election to democratically approve or disapprove of a $27 million budget, everyone who funds that budget via tax payments should at least know about that election.
Side note: If this budget is for fiscal year 2015, why was the election held after almost two full months into 2015? Maybe that’s just another thing I do not understand about fire budgets…