One final election...

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

One final election...

...will be held this evening at the firehouse on Sunset Avenue, and then we can call it quits for the year.

It's the annual election of a Commissioner in the Westhampton Beach Fire District which also encompasses the unincorporated areas of Westhampton and Quiogue.

And for the first time in past six years, it's a contested race for the five-year seat presently held by Vic Levy. Opposing him is another, even older, friend, Bob Schunk.

And, uncommon in races of this sort, there are issues for voters to consider... Gawd forbid it should just be a popularity contest.

Victor Levy

Levy, 65, whose re-election bid is supported by the other four Com­missioners, points to his seven years on the Fire Commis­sion as well as his extensive municipal experience as Trustee, Deputy Mayor, member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, and Planning Board Chairman.

"And, importantly, the five of us work well to­gether," Vic says. "We do the business of the District, balancing the needs of the fire depart­ment while keeping our district tax rate one of the lowest in all of Southampton Town."

While not a member of the Fire Department, Vic feels he brings his years of fiscal expertise and experience in management and municipal process to the Commission.

"We have replaced our rescue truck, brush truck and transport van, instituted an ex­tensive equipment maintenance program, continued the equipment reserve fund that began when I was a Village Trustee, and started a planning process for the reno­vation of our 60-year-old firehouse."

Robert Schunk

Schunk, 71, lists his 40 years as a local firefighter until a medical condition dictated his retirement.

He also served as Chief some 30 years ago, having, as he says, "worked my way up through the ranks."

Bob offers some specifics about the position as he sees it:

"They need to tighten up the money even more. That building on Seabreeze was way too expensive at $1 million, and none of the Chiefs even have a key to it!"

(Levy calls the Seabreeze Avenue facility "a much-needed storage and training building.")

Schunk then gets to an issue about which he is out-spoken: automatic alarms!

"Right now about 98% of them are false alarms, set off by something other than a fire... often just wind. And the volunteers have to stop what they are doing, respond to the fire house, and roll the trucks."

"It's got to stop!" he says emphatically. "Aside from being costly, it also has a demoralizing effect on the firefighters!"

He notes that the City of Los Angeles... yeah!, that Los Angeles... simply made it a policy to not respond to automatic alarms!

"And if they don't want to take that tough a measure," Schunk says, "then a new procedure should be instituted where a designated Cap­tain or Assistant Chief checks out the alarm before everyone rolls out."

Voting will be from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.


1. EastEnd68 said...

Who is eligible to vote? Just Village residents or all residents the district serves?Who is eligible to vote? Just Village residents or all residents the district serves?

Residents of the Westhampton Beach Fire District which, as has been noted, includes Quiogue and Westhampton.

2. Carpetbagger said...

Vote For Victor he is the best candidate as noted above for his extensive experience in government. The district needs a non firematic representitive on the board. Mr. Schunk has never attended a District meeting but is critical of the cost of the Seabreaze building, well so were the commissioners that's why it went to bid twice! Mr.Schunk is an excheif{sic} his son Darrell was cheif{sic} his son Allen is currently a Dept. officer his daughter inlaw is employed by the Dept. as house keeper. Let's keep a guy who better represents the taxpayer.

Since when is Mr. Schunk not a taxpayer, #1, and, #2, Mr. Schunk was very critical of the cost of the Seabreeze building, and that seems to be to be expressing a concern for taxpayers. You may not like Bob Schunk (or his family, it sounds like), or you just like Vic Levy a great deal more. Say so, and skip the bogus "reasons."
– Dean

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