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Long Island

Fire districts across LI hold elections for commissioners, spending

The Bethpage Fire District Headquaters at 225 Broadway

The Bethpage Fire District Headquaters at 225 Broadway March, 19, 2012 Credit: Nicole Bartoline

Long Island fire districts hold elections Tuesday for more than two dozen commissioners’ races and propositions authorizing building renovations, equipment purchases and pension eligibility.

There are about 30 contested commissioners races in both Nassau and Suffolk counties. Commissioners set policies and control budgets that total more than $300 million across the Island.

About six fire districts are offering propositions, including referendums related to the state Length of Service Award Program, or LOSAP, which allows volunteer firefighters to receive pension-style benefits. Also among the propositions are an Elmont referendum seeking approval to purchase more than $927,000 for radios and communication equipment.

Lakeview is seeking voter approval to sell a fire engine. In the Copiague Fire District the ballot proposition seeks approval to issue a $1.5 million bond for facility repairs.

Among contested commissioner races, the Franklin Square and Munson district has a three-way race for one five-year term in which incumbent Les Saltzman is running against Frank J. Cutolo III and Michael Kelly Jr. In Bethpage, there is a contested race for a two-year term between Pat Stramandinoli and William Zura Jr.

In the North Massapequa fire district, Commissioner Nick Paolucci is stepping down after 25 years and three candidates are vying to replace him: Joseph Canova who is currently a captain, Sean Abrams, a former fire chief, and Fred Ferrara, the current chief.

The New Hyde Park Fire District has two open seats with one contested race in which incumbent John Waldron takes on challenger Ernest Gentile for a seat with a five-year term. In Deer Park Fire District 14, residents will vote to offer a “length of service” award worth $800 a month to volunteers age 60 and older who have served 40 years or more in the department. The new award would cost the district $26,000 annually.

In the only contested race in the town of Huntington, East Northport incumbent Nicholas Macedonio is being challenged by William Reynolds for a seat with five-year term. In the Kings Park Fire District, Peter J. Laura Sr. and Gregory M. Fagan are running for one seat with a five-year term.

Thomas Guerriere, Jr. and Kevin Kuzow are running for one seat on the Nesconset Fire District board. William H. Howard and Joseph H. Kuethen are running for one seat on the St. James Fire district board. In Bayport, Stanley Gillette and Edgar Borrero are both running for a five-year seat.

In East Islip, Jerry Leigh and Matthew Maroney are running for a vacated seat with a five-year term. Incumbent Thomas Conners is facing challenges from Keith Miller and Matthew Taylor for a five-year term in Islip Terrace. In Islip, incumbent commissioner Fred E. Herrmann is facing a challenge from Carmine V. Paolicelli.

Incumbent Joyce Boyd is challenged by James Kelly and Ursula Johnson in the Gordan Heights Fire District. In Medford, incumbent Richard J. Piquette is opposed by challenger Eric J. Rotermund.

Incumbent James Hansen faces a challenge from Thomas J. O’Brien in Mount Sinai. Voters in that district will also decide whether to approve an installment purchase of a 107-foot aerial pumper truck.

In North Patchogue, incumbent John Kirshey is opposed by challenger Thomas Volpe. Residents in Port Jefferson will vote on a proposition to open a capital reserve account for equipment.

Incumbent David Hellberg is challenged by Allan Pearsall in Ridge. In Sound Beach, John Hoffman and Jeffrey Vlack are running for commissioner, while in Terryville Leonard Spier and Edward O’Shaughnessy are running for an open seat on the board of commissioners.

In Bridgehampton a treasurer seat is open with no declared candidates. James Wright and Peter Joyce are running for a seat in Montauk. Incumbent Randy Hintze is challenged by Michael Harrigan in Wading River.

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