Seven special districts in the Five Towns area will hold commissioner elections on Dec. 10, but only the in the Woodmere Fire District is there a challenge to an incumbent.
In that district, Ronna Rubenstein, the district’s secretary for the past four years, is challenging Commissioner Mitch Froehlich for a five-year term.
“I have managed the Woodmere Fire District from behind the scenes, preparing and managing budgets and procuring hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants,” Rubenstein said. “As a mother, wife and successful businesswoman, I understand the importance of working collaboratively for a safer community and putting our neighborhood’s needs first.”
Rubenstein, 48, has been a member of the department’s emergency medical services unit for four years. “Inspired by the members who volunteer in the Woodmere Fire Department to keep our community safe, I put myself through EMT school and became an active member of the department’s EMS division,” she said. “I make it my business to be in the neighborhood whenever feasible to be able to respond to calls and help neighbors in need.”
Froehlich, 50, has been a commissioner since 2006 and a volunteer firefighter for 17 years. He highlighted the work done by the commissioners in 2019. “Just this past year, we purchased three new fire trucks, three new state-of-the-art thermal imaging cameras, two life-saving thumpers [automated CPR machines] and a new ambulance,” Froehlich said. “We’ve done all this while keeping expenses down and taxes from increasing.”
He feels that he and the commission have more to do and are prepared to push forward. “The board of fire commissioners works well together,” he said. “We’ve accomplished a tremendous amount together as a team over the years. The work is never done. The only way to accomplish more is by being re-elected.”
Voting will take place at the Woodmere firehouse, at 20 Irving Place.
Elections are also taking place in the Lawrence North Fire District, Meadowmere Park Fire District, Hewlett Bay Fire District, Greater Atlantic Beach Water Reclamation District, Atlantic Beach Fire District and Inwood Fire District.
Voting will be held from 6 to 9 p.m., except in the Hewlett Bay district, where the hours will be 5 to 9 p.m.