On Tuesday, voters in the New Hyde Park Fire District will cast their vote for commissioner for the next 5 years.
Incumbent New Hyde Park Fire Commissioner John Brown was elected in 2007. He has spent 35 years within the New Hyde Park Fire Department, 19 years in Protection Engine Company No. 2 and 16 years in Active Hook and Ladder. Brown was also a member of the FDNY for 24 years, holding the rank of Lieutenant and would like to continue applying his experience with the city to his hometown.
Brown is being challenged by former commissioner John Neiwander and department member John Waldron.
Stating that he has the “best interest of the taxpayers, by providing the best possible fire service, within our means,” Brown said his sense of fiscal responsibility has been proven during his tenure by reducing the budget for the first three years of his term and keeping the budget under the state-mandated 2 percent tax cap for the remaining two years.
He emphasized his managing of the budget under the increasing costs the department faces such as “the increasing costs of fuel, the hydrants we rent, and insurance…every aspect of the fire department has seen increases.”
Brown said that he has been the point-man for the board of commissioners in the face of budget concerns since day one, questioning all invoices and bills and extending this mindset to the other members of the board. He also emphasized that the board of fire commissioners has not let the actions of fellow commissioner Dolan hinder or affect their ability to function.
Under his tenure, Brown said that he has brought in $500,000 in grants and helped lead in the purchase of two new fire apparatus, all while maintaining or reducing the budget as well as oversee a $60,000 communication link to Nassau County Fire Communications, reducing the costs of monthly phone line transmissions, which will pay for itself in three years.
Brown said that his “frugalness and sense of fiscal responsibility” is with the best of intentions of the tax payers and this reputation would not be disputed by any of the other board members.
Born and raised in New Hyde Park, Brown has four children. He has been involved with the little league and coached basketball. He graduated from New Hyde Park Memorial High School before attending NYIT for three years, graduating cum laude with a degree in accounting, before leaving for the FDNY. Brown said that he wants his record as commissioner to stand for itself and plans on continuing the fiscal responsibility he established in his next term.
Voting will take place December 11 from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the New Hyde Park Fire Department’s Headquarters located on Jericho Turnpike.