This year’s fire district commissioner elections feature many incumbents running unopposed.
Local fire districts will hold their elections on Dec. 8 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The purpose of these elections are to elect one fire district commissioner for a five-year term commencing Jan. 1, 2021 and ending Dec. 31, 2025. None of the ballots feature referendums.
All Orange County residents of their respective fire districts who are registered to vote with the Orange County Board of Elections on or before Nov. 16, 2020 shall be entitled to vote at this election.
The Bullville Fire District election will be held at the firehouse located at 2891 Route 17K, Bullville. Fred Theadore, who has served several times as fire district commissioner, is running unopposed.
The Pine Bush Fire District election will be held at the firehouse located at 2405 Route 52, Pine Bush. Assistant Fire Chief John Boyle is running for a five-year term. Boyle has previously served as fire chief and vice president of the Pine Bush Fire Department. He also currently serves as principal of Crispell Middle School.
“I’ve been involved in the organization for about 20 years and held many positions in the fire company and I just thought I could help our community out in another facet,” he said.
The Montgomery Fire District election will take place at the firehouse located at 136 Ward Street, Montgomery. Only those persons who are residents of the Montgomery Fire District on or before Nov. 9, 2020 and who are registered with the Orange County Board of Elections on or before Nov. 16, 2020 shall be eligible to vote. Carl Prezioso filled a vacancy in October and is the lone candidate for a five-year term on this year’s ballot.
The Walden Fire District election will be held at the district headquarters, 230 Old Orange Avenue, Walden. Richard McNamee is running for a five-year term unopposed. He has served as a commissioner since Jan. 2016. In addition to being a commissioner, he also is the assistant chief of the New Paltz Rescue Squad. Prior to that, he worked as a paramedic for all of Orange County for Mobile Life Support Services Inc. for eight years.
Maybrook will hold its fire district election at the Maybrook Firehouse, 204 Wallace Avenue, Maybrook. Eric Scholz is running for re-election unopposed.
The Coldenham Fire District will hold its election at the Coldenham Firehouse located at 511 Coldenham Road, Walden. There is an open seat on the board of fire commissioners, as no one completed a petition to run.
The Wallkill Fire District election will take place at the Wallkill firehouse, 18 Central Avenue, Wallkill. All voters within the Wallkill, Shawangunk and Gardiner Fire Districts who are duly registered to vote with the Ulster County Board of Elections on or before Nov. 16, 2020 shall be eligible to vote in this election. Andrew W. Harcher III is seeking reelection for his third five-year term. He is a retired police officer, serving in the City of Newburgh for six years and the Town of Newburgh for 20.
Harcher is running for another term, as firefighting runs in his family. His father was a fire chief, board of director and fire commissioner. Harcher was a volunteer fireman for many years.
“A lot of people either belong to the ambulance corps or belong to the fire department,” Harcher said. “[For] my family, it was the fire department.”
To request an application for an absentee ballot, please email the Wallkill Fire District secretary/treasurer at email@example.com or call 845-895-9708. Applications for absentee ballots that will be delivered personally to the voter or his/her agent must be received no later than Dec. 7.
The Shawangunk Fire District is unlike the others, as there are positions on the ballot for five and three-year terms. Larry Smith is running for the five-year term and Jim Miller is running for the three-year term. Both are currently commissioners and are lifelong members of the Shawangunk Valley Fire Company. The election will take place at Shawangunk Valley Fire House located at 2150 Bruynswick Road, Wallkill.
Jim Bales will run unopposed for the five-year term in the Gardiner Fire District. He is a veteran with the district, serving as its chief from 1990 through 1993 and as a fire commissioner since 2000. The election will take place at the Gardiner Firehouse located at 2349 Route 44-55 in Gardiner.