Opinion 89-43


This opinion represents the views of the Office of the State Comptroller at the time it was rendered. The opinion may no longer represent those views if, among other things, there have been subsequent court cases or statutory amendments that bear on the issues discussed in the opinion.


FIRE DISTRICTS -- Treasurer (change from elective to appointive)

TOWN LAW, §§174(2), 176(2-a): A fire district may change the office of fire district treasurer from an elective to an appointive office pursuant to the procedures set forth in Town Law, §176(2-a).

This is in reply to your letter asking whether the elective office of fire district treasurer may be abolished and replaced by an appointive office.

Town Law, §174(2) provides for the election of a fire district treasurer for a term of three years. While the office of treasurer, therefore, is generally an elective office, we note that Town Law, §176(2-a) sets forth a procedure for the conversion of the office of treasurer into an appointive office.

Town Law, §176(2-a) provides that, notwithstanding Town Law, §174(2), a board of fire commissioners may provide, by resolution, that a proposition shall be submitted at any annual fire district election, other than one at which a fire district treasurer is required to be elected, determining that the office of treasurer shall be an appointive office. If the proposition is approved, a treasurer would not be elected at the expiration of the term of office of the incumbent elected treasurer. Rather, the board, at its organization meeting each year, would then annually appoint a treasurer to hold office until the thirty-first day of December next succeeding the appointment.

We note that subdivision 2-a also sets forth a similar procedure for changing the appointive office of treasurer back into an elective office. Under subdivision 2-a, the board may provide, by resolution, that a proposition to change the appointive office to elective shall be submitted at any annual fire district election. If the proposition is approved, a fire district treasurer would be elected at the next succeeding annual election for a term to commence after the expiration of the term of the incumbent appointive treasurer.

November 8, 1989
Eric D. Koster, Esq., Attorney at Law
Greenville Fire District