Pinsky Law Group has successfully petitioned the New York State Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, for permission to appeal the matter of Waite v. Champion. Statistically, less than two percent of requests for permission to appeal to this Court are granted each year. Pinsky Law Group represents six residents who successfully petitioned the Town of Champion to dissolve the Champion Fire Protection District. A vote of the residents was held and passed. However, instead of dissolving the Fire Protection District, the Town formed two fire protection districts over the same territory as the one. The Appellate Division held that the Town of Champion followed a process, and never addressed whether the Town actually accomplished dissolution. Thus, the present appeal on these questions. We believe that this case has statewide impacts as it the first case in the state on the Dissolution Law (General Municipal Law Article 17-A. In June, 2018, the Court heard oral argument, which can be viewed here: https://www.nycourts.gov/ctapps/arguments/2018/Jun18/Video/82.html
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The Pinsky Law Group has been declared victorious in a lawsuit initiated on behalf of the town of Macedon against the NYS Department of Health. The town of Macedon had applied for an ambulance service certificate pursuant to Public Health Law 3008(7) for the entire town of Macedon, including the village of Macedon. Although initially granted, the Department of Health revoked the town’s authority to operate in the village of Macedon, simply because the village of Macedon complained.
The Pinsky Law Group argued that the Department of Health exceeded its authority when revoking the town’s authority to operate in the village.
In a decision dated July 8, 2014, Wayne County Supreme Court Judge Kehoe held that the Department of Health was without authority. The Court held in part that “the effect of the Department’s decision in excluding the Village of Macedon from the Certificate granted to the Town of Macedon represents an impermissible limitation of the Town’s statutory authority…”.
This decision represents the second time in recent years that the action on behalf of the Department of Health was impermissible under law. In 2012, the Pinsky Law Group obtained a similar victory on behalf of the town of Covert.
The Pinsky Law Group is proud to announce that it has assisted the Town of Somerset with obtaining a solution to a major issue in the control, funding and operation of the local fire department. Until now, the village of Barker’s fire department provided fire protection to the town of Somerset and the town contracted for its protection. However, the town provides approximately ninety-five (95%) percent of funding for the fire department.
Unfortunately, if the village suffered any sort of significant claim such as a firefighter injury or an uninsured lawsuit, the village alone would be obligated to bear the cost.
Recognizing that there must be a better way to fund the fire operations, the town of Somerset approached the Pinsky Law Group. Our firm advised that the only present method recognized by law to address this issue was to create a joint fire district, a solution that in this instance, created more problems than benefits.
Thus, the Pinsky Law Group, working with the local senator and assemblyman, drafted legislation that would permit the town to expand its fire protection district into the town and place the village’s fire department under control of the town. This solution avoided the need to create another government entity and equalized the tax rates and legal obligations across all taxpayers in the town of Somerset and the village of Barker.
his solution also permitted the fire department to be funded by one budget instead of two budgets, and to work around one contract in a single contract year. Town budgets run on a calendar year, but village budgets begin in June.
The Barker Fire Department has become an “independent” fire department, under the control of the town alone, and free from many of the requirements of the village law over its fire department.
The Pinsky Law Group offers its municipal and emergency service clients numerous “out of the box” solutions to address their issues. As Phil Pinsky (the father of Brad Pinsky and the former Counsel to the New York State Senate Majority Leader Warren Anderson) used to say, “Sometimes the best solution is legislative”, meaning that the solution does not yet exist in law but needs to be created.
The Pinsky Law Group may be contacted by phone at (315) 428-8345 and viewed on its website at www.pinskylaw.com
In record time, the Pinsky Law Group assisted the Town of Trenton (Oneida County) with the consolidation of three villages and a town into a single “Joint Fire District”. This consolidation brings four different municipal budgets and two separate fire departments under the efficient control of a single board of fire commissioners.
The effort began in early spring ’14 and concluded on August 15, 2014 with the official formation date. The Pinsky Law Group not only drafted all of the resolutions and provided the advice necessary for the formation, but also provided the required commissioner training and assisted with the drafting of hundreds of pages of policies which will guide the new district.
The Pinsky Law Group has extensive experience with the consolidation of fire departments and the formation of joint fire districts and fire districts throughout the state. The Pinsky Law Group represents approximately 500 emergency service organizations throughout the state.
We may be contacted at (315) 428-8345 and may be found on the web at www.pinskylaw.com.