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Firefighters approved unanimously, with some dissent

OBSERVER File photo The Fredonia Village Board approved Timothy Winters and Ben Siracuse to the positions of fire lieutenant and provisional fire lieutenant.

The appointments of Timothy Winters and Ben Siracuse to the positions of fire lieutenant and provisional fire lieutenant for the village of Fredonia were approved unanimously by the board of trustees Monday.

However two trustees, EvaDawn Bashaw and Roger Britz voted yes, but under protest. Both, in the meeting that is televised and does not include attendees, did not elaborate.

Winters will be making $34.90 an hour and Siracuse $33.85 an hour and began their new positions on Tuesday.

In late October, the union filed the suit against the village claiming violations of civil service regulations.

According to the firefighters, the position of lieutenant has gone unfilled for years. Winters serves as acting lieutenant.

The union claimed in a lawsuit filed by the Fredonia Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 2931 the consequences of village’s continued assignment of firefighters to perform acting lieutenant duties puts them at “grave risks and further exposure of the taxpayers of the Village of Fredonia to greater losses.”

The fires referenced included an incident on Aug. 25 at 24 University Park and on Aug. 28 at the Econo Lodge. In both instances, firefighters were asked to assume responsibilities of the lieutenant who was not scheduled for work that day.

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