12/20/13 10:00am
12/20/2013 10:00 AM

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Orient Fire District commissioner Scott Harris (left) sits next to former chairman Harold ‘Bud’ Griffith’s empty seat at Tuesday night’s board meeting. Mr. Griffith abruptly resigned from the board last month.

Less than a week after a newcomer was elected to its board of fire commissioners, the Orient Fire District has a new hole to fill.

The board’s chairman, Harold “Bud” Griffith, abruptly announced his resignation soon after the district’s regular meeting last month, during which he had disagreed with other members over the sale of a fire truck. The board voted to accept his resignation “with regret” at their December meeting Tuesday night.

Commissioner Scott Harris told the board he spoke with Mr. Griffith before the meeting and was told he still wished to resign.

Mr. Griffith submitted his letter of resignation a day before the petition deadline for candidates seeking to join the board.

“Simply put, I gave it as much time as I could,” Mr. Griffith said in a phone interview last week. He did not give a reason in his letter, district officials said.

The board has not yet determined who will be appointed to fill Mr. Griffith’s seat and is now seeking résumés from Orient residents to find a replacement for next year. Board vice chairman Linton Duell, who chose not to seek re-election, will also depart in January.

While Mr. Griffith says he resigned due to a lack of time to devote to the board, other commissioners and observers noted that his resignation comes in the wake of a board vote to sell a district fire engine — a decision Mr. Griffith opposed.

The used 1991 Seagrave engine was purchased from the Riverhead Fire Department but wasn’t being used by district firefighters, Mr. Harris said. The board voted to surplus the truck to the highest bidder, seeking a price between $25,000 and $40,000, according to minutes from the November meeting.

Mr. Griffith cast the lone dissenting vote.

“It was just at the point where if you start losing sleep over it, it’s not worth it,” Mr. Griffith said. “We all have our disagreements. I just felt at this time in my life, [it was best] not to keep arguing.”

On Tuesday, commissioner Richard Milligan said the board was “in the final throes of consummating this deal for that truck.” Money earned from the sale of the engine would go into the district’s fund for purchasing new trucks, according to the resolution.

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10/20/13 3:26pm
10/20/2013 3:26 PM

North Fork Fire police Association

More than a dozen veteran North Fork fire department volunteers were honored for 50 years of service at a ceremony in Cutchogue Thursday.

The men, who come from four different area fire departments, were recognized with an award from the New York State Association of Fire Police.

Honored at the ceremony held at the Cutchogue firehouse on New Suffolk Road were:

EAST MARION FIRE DEPARTMENT

Frank Begora Jr.

Arthur Quintana

William Volinski

GREENPORT FIRE DEPARTMENT

George Cappon

Richard Sledjeski (posthumously)

JAMESPORT FIRE DEPARTMENT

John Anderson

Perry Conklin

Daniel Kaelin II

Lewis Tomaszewski

Albin Zaweski

Stanley Zaweski

ORIENT FIRE DEPARTMENT

Robert Reeves Jr.

Joseph Soito

10/13/13 10:00am
10/13/2013 10:00 AM
PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO

The Orient Fire Department hosted its Fourth Annual Open House Saturday night, featuring barbecue, live music, and a fire department exhibition.

The event drew dozens from Orient with hot dogs, hamburgers and kielbasa, as well as live accompaniment from Long Island country and classic rock band Southbound. Firefighters also demonstrated on the fire department’s back lawn how they free trapped victims from car accidents by cutting away the doors of a dummy car.

10/10/13 10:00am
10/10/2013 10:00 AM

All five fire districts within Southold Town will hold public hearings next week on their proposed 2014 budgets.

Fire districts are the taxing entities that fund local fire departments, which are mostly run by volunteers but receive tax money for items such as equipment, facilities and some paid employees.

Following is a breakdown of the budget proposals and the hearing times and locations.

Southold

The proposed budget calls for $1.86 million in spending, up 1.64 percent over 2013’s $1.83 million budget. Of that amount, all but $22,800 will be raised through taxes, a 1.64 percent increase over the current year.

The public hearing on the budget will take place Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. in the Southold fire station at 55135 Main Road.

Cutchogue

The proposed 2014 budget is $1.32 million, 3.5 percent over the current budget of $1.28 million. All but $1,000 will be raised through taxes — a 7.3 percent tax levy increase over the current year.

The public hearing is Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Cutchogue firehouse at 260 New Suffolk Road.

Mattituck

The proposed 2014 budget calls for $1,854,805 in spending, a 1.78 percent increase over the 2013 budget of $1,822,281. The entire budget amount will be raised through taxes.

The public hearing is Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. at the Mattituck Fire Hall on Pike St.

Orient

The proposed 2014 budget calls for $657,545 in spending, up 9 percent from the current budget of $602,920. The amount to be raised through taxes totals $608,295 for 2014.

The public hearing will be Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Orient firehouse at 23300 Main Road in Orient.

East Marion

The proposed 2014 budget calls for $609,996 in spending, down 1.2 percent from the current budget of $610,783. Of that amount, $509,035 will be raised through taxes, a 0.5 percent drop from the current year.

The public hearing on the budget will take place Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m. at the East Marion fire station, 9245 Main Road.

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12/11/12 9:40pm
12/11/2012 9:40 PM

In the only two contested fire commissioner elections in Southold Town, Cutchogue incumbent Sandy Frieman and Orient’s Richard Milligan each won five-year terms Tuesday.

In the heaviest voter turnout in Cutchogue in recent years, Mr. Frieman, chairman of the fire department’s board of commissioners, easily fended off a challenge from Jeff Smith, a former Mattituck school board member, winning 319 to 133. Mr. Frieman has served as commissioner for 20 years.

In Orient, Richard Milligan defeated William G. Wysocki, 56 to 40.

Mr. Milligan will replace Bob Scott, a town assessor, who did not seek reelection. Mr. Scott was elected in 2010 to fill the unexpired term of Joseph Wysocki, who became chief.