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Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Taxpayer’s challenge to the Village’s establishment of a service awards program for volunteer firefighters dismissed “for lack of standing”

Taxpayer’s challenge to the Village’s establishment of a service awards program for volunteer firefighters dismissed “for lack of standing”
Davidson v Village of Penn Yan, 2013 NY Slip Op 04151, Appellate Division, Fourth Department

Wayne Davidson challenged the Village Board of Trustees of Village of Penn Yan (the Board) establishment of a service awards program for volunteer firefighters pursuant to General Municipal Law Article 11-A.

§216 of GML Article 11-a provides, in pertinent part, for the establishment of “service award programs for volunteer firefighters of political subdivisions of the state and for volunteer firefighters other than of political subdivisions of the state. Such service award program may be adopted only by resolution of the governing board of a political subdivision, “receiving the affirmative vote of at least sixty percent of the governing board of the political subdivision having control of the fire departments and fire companies, and the approval of a mandatory referendum authorizing the adopting of the program by the eligible voters within such political subdivision.”*

Supreme Court granted the Board’s motions and dismissed Davidson’s petitions. The Appellate Division affirmed the lower court’s ruling, explaining that Davidson failed to demonstrate that he is personally aggrieved by the Board's actions inasmuch as he did not establish that he "sustained special damage, different in kind and degree from the community generally."

While the court stated that “the doctrine of common-law taxpayer standing . . . would excuse such lack of personal aggrievement,” the doctrine requires a petitioner to establish that the failure to accord such standing “would be in effect to erect an impenetrable barrier to any judicial scrutiny of [the Board's] action." Anderson, said the Appellate Division, had not made such a showing.


The decision is posted on the Internet at: http://www.nycourts.gov/reporter/3dseries/2013/2013_04151.htm

Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

A Reasonable Penalty Under The Circumstances at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/

Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

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