On Tuesday, Dec. 12, the residents of the Wantagh Fire District will have the opportunity to vote for two candidates to fill open positions for fire commissioner. Although historically I have not publicly supported candidates for election, I feel this year, with some recent negative comments being published about fire districts, I would like to put the residents' feelings and concerns at ease that both candidates are extremely well-qualified, dedicated and deserving. I have known both Jay Cohen and John Gillen for nearly 30 years and although both are personal friends of mine, I could not think of two more qualified candidates. The fact that they are both running unopposed for their respective positions, perhaps could imply many others feel the same.
Both candidates possess unblemished, exemplary careers in the Wantagh Fire Department. I have worked with both of them while they served in numerous supervisory positions and committees and I am certain that they will use that experience and skill to serve the taxpaying residents and volunteer firefighters of Wantagh. Jay had previously served a full term as commissioner in 1989 through 1994 and will bring his many years of personal business experience to the board of fire commissioners. John (JJ) served as our chief of department from 2003 through 2005, handling many difficult situations with competence and professionalism. He is well-known and respected throughout the county fire service.
In closing, I would like to ask that all eligible voters in the Wantagh Fire District take a few minutes out of their time on Dec. 12 and go to their local firehouse and vote for these two candidates. Remember, these men are each running for separate open positions. John Gillen is seeking election to a five-year term to replace present Commissioner John Viola, who is retiring from the position after faithfully serving for 20 years. Jay Cohen is running to fill a one-year term in the vacancy term created when former Commissioner Carol Johnston resigned earlier this year before completing her first five-year term. Although neither candidate is facing opposition, please come out and show your support for two very dedicated individuals.
Wantagh Fire Department