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Tri-Harbor Ambulance District

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By Aidan Johnson

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While the mantra “Every vote matters” applies to all elections, it can be best highlighted in local races in which a handful of votes can decide the outcome. Consider county Legislator Sarah Anker’s (D-Mount Sinai) 2015 win that was decided by just 19 votes.

However, there are some elections and referendums, like last year’s Tri-Harbor Ambulance District Referendum, which could have been decided by one singular person — because no one voted.

The Tri-Harbor Ambulance District, which covers Mount Sinai, Port Jefferson and Belle Terre, held a referendum last year and is once again holding it on Aug. 1 at Port Jefferson EMS at 25 Crystal Brook Hollow Road, Mount Sinai, between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

This vote deals with the Length of Service Award Program, which rewards volunteers by providing them a pension based on the length of their service.

In a statement, Brookhaven Town Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich (D-Stony Brook) explained what the changes would entail. If volunteers have served for at least five years, he stated, they currently receive $20 per month for each year of service starting at age 65. However, the proposal would change that to $30 per month starting at age 60. 

“For example, under the current plan someone who served for 10 years would receive $200 per month starting at age 65. Under the new proposal they would get $300 per month starting at age 60,” Kornreich further explained.

Since no one voted last year, the referendum didn’t pass; hence it is being held once more.

While Kornreich was surprised that no one voted, he wasn’t necessarily shocked. 

“Most of the volunteers at PJ EMS are college students who do not participate in LOSAP. There are probably less than 10 people in the service there who do participate, and they are not the type to run out and self-promote a program which would benefit themselves, even if it is a modest increase,” Kornreich stated.

Confusion over who was supposed to publicize the vote, Town of Brookhaven or the Tri-Harbor EMS, could have also been the reason that many people did not even know that it was happening.

If you live in the Tri-Harbor Ambulance District, remember to vote on Aug. 1 at 25 Crystal Brook Hollow Road, Mount Sinai.