Cutchogue firefighter beats 10-year incumbent for commish seat


A longtime fire commissioner was unseated in Cutchogue and a newcomer was elected in Mattituck according to the results of Tuesday night’s North Fork fire district elections.

A proposition to extend firefighter benefits in East Marion was also defeated by district voters.

In the Cutchogue Fire District, challenger Drew McCaffrey, a former chief and active member of the department defeated incumbent commissioner Arthur Brewer for his open seat.

Mr. Brewer had served on the board of commissioners for 10 years and was also a past chief of the department.

Mr. McCaffrey thanked family and friends for their support, and said he was impressed by the turnout for the election.

“The fact that 501 people cared enough to come and support their candidate was really nice to see,” he said.

In Mattituck, Michael Sweeney was the winner in a three-way race to fill a vacant seat on the fire district’s board.

Mr. Sweeney won 85 votes in the election, defeating fellow candidates John Heeg and Leonard Llewellyn, who received 62 votes and 59 votes respectively, district officials said.

“It was close,” Mr. Sweeney said. “We all congratulated each other.”

Mr. Sweeney has been in the department for 20 years, and has served as a captain and lieutenant, as well as a co-chairman of the department’s 100th anniversary parade.

He had run against outgoing commissioner Bill Young five years ago, but had come up short in that election.

After his election this year, Mr. Sweeney said he would “ease his way” onto the board.

“”It was fun going out and meeting all the people,” he said. “Now I just gotta buckle down and see what’s going on.”

In East Marion, a proposition to increase the fire department’s service award program failed.

The proposition would have allowed the district to extend the maximum years a firefighter could receive benefits from the program by 10 years.

The state-approved program is currently in its 25th year in the East Marion department; the cap for benefits will remain at 30 years.

East Marion’s two commissioners up for reelection, Donald Dzenkowski and Michael Griffin, both won after running unopposed, district officials said.

Elsewhere, Donald Sayre won reelection in the Southold Fire District and newcomer Joseph Wysocki won the open seat in Orient.

Both men were running unopposed.

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