On Tuesday, December 11, the Woodmere Fire District will conduct their annual commissioner election. This year, David Stern, a current active member of the Woodmere Fire Department, is up for re-election. David, who resides in Woodmere with his lovely wife and their three children, is enthusiastically supported by the members of the fire department who describe him as “a vital asset.” He serves the fire department as a firefighter and sits on the fire district board as a commissioner, serving in each capacity as a volunteer.
“As Chief of the Department, I have worked closely with David Stern over the past two years. David is a strong partner of the department, always ready to lend support for requests that aim to improve response time and member’s safety while balancing the financial impact to the community. He has a reputation for working hard and being part of the solution,” said Chief of Department Alan Sauer.
Except for large cities such as New York City and Albany, New York State has suburban municipal governments called fire districts which collect taxes to fund fire protection. Each district is run by a board of five commissioners. The actual firefighting is done by the fire department, which is run by the fire chief who provides the district with their requirements and the district, in turn, does its best to meet them. The district usually owns the building, the fire trucks, and the equipment, acquires insurance, repairs, and supplies — all paid for by the tax dollars collected.
Commissioners are responsible for a plethora of fiduciary responsibilities, including preparing budgets, approving expenditures, negotiating contracts, and dealing with myriad local issues. Over the past ten years, the laws governing fire districts have gone through significant changes and adapting to the changing landscape can be quite a challenge.
“The skills I use in my ‘day job’ at Chief Information Security Officer of BGC — managing teams, directing technical projects, preparing budgets — are all skills I need for my job as commissioner,” David explained. “The board often looks to me to lead critical projects. In the past five years I have managed the ‘municipal project lifecycle’ — research, budgeting, bid preparation, bid review, bid award, and project management — for an ambulance, a technical rescue truck, and a new dispatch center.
He adds, “We are in the final phases of a three-year project to replace two pumpers and a ladder truck.”
Tireless in his efforts on behalf of our community, David says, “I couldn’t do any of this without the unwavering support of my family.”
Throughout the 15 years, David Stern has put our community’s needs before his own, whether it be saving lives or saving taxpayers’ money. While Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc upon our community, David Stern was on the storm’s battlefront, getting our families, friends, and neighbors out of harm’s way.
“It is my job as a board member to provide for the needs of the Fire Department while managing the cost to the community,” David says. “I have worked hard to build a reputation as an informed decision maker. I am proud of the support that I have been able to provide to the members of the Fire Department. There will always be challenges to overcome, and I hope the voters will reelect me so that I can continue to serve them.”
David Stern has been an excellent commissioner with a sterling record of accomplishments and an exciting vision for the future. I urge you to reelect him on Tuesday.
Rochelle Maruch Miller is a contributing editor for the Five Towns Jewish Times. She is a journalist, creative media consultant, lecturer, and educator, and writes for magazines, newspapers, websites, and private clients. She welcomes your comments at Rochellemiller04@aol.com.