Annual Commissioner Election On December 10th –
By Rochelle Maruch Miller
“David Stern has been an important factor in propelling the Fire Department forward with state-of-the art equipment and training,” said Benjamin J. Nelson, Second Deputy Chief of the Woodmere Volunteer Fire Department. “In addition to Dave’s contribution as a commissioner, he has held the positions of Lieutenant and Captain of our Ambulance Company and also was awarded with a pre-hospital save where he and others performed CPR on an individual who was in cardiac arrest, and who subsequently had a full recovery and was able to shake Dave’s hand and say ‘Thank you.’”
On Tuesday, December 10th, 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 as an incumbent. 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 is both a member of the Fire Department, as a firefighter and EMT, and sits on the Fire District Board as a Commissioner, serving in each capacity as a volunteer.
Except for large cities such as New York City and Albany, New York State has suburban municipal governments called Fire Districts which collect taxes in order to provide fire protection. Each District is run by a Board of five Commissioners. The actual fire fighting 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’ as Managing Director for Cyber Security at the New York Stock Exchange – 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 ten years I have managed the ‘municipal project lifecycle’ – research, budgeting, bid preparation, bid review, bid award, and project management – for two ambulances, a pumper, a new radio system, computer aided dispatch, and a building network upgrade. I was able to secure over 100K from a competitive Federal grant program to provide for critical equipment upgrades.”
He adds, “Our vehicle fleet is aging. If re-elected, I hope to pursue a multi-year program to refurbish and modernize our vehicles instead of replacing them – which has the potential to save the tax payers over a million dollars while providing the tools needed to protect the community into the next decades. It will be an extremely technical and time consuming project, but the payback for all will be great.”
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 past decade, David Stern has put our community’s needs before his own, whether it be saving lives or saving tax payers’ 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 re-elect 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 re-elect him next Tuesday.