Candidates for fire commissioners in both the Centereach and Selden fire districts were on hand at the Nov. 20 Centereach Civic Association meeting, which was held in conjunction with the Selden Civic Association at the Selden firehouse, to introduce themselves to residents. On Dec. 10, residents will be able to vote for one fire commissioner in each district for a five-year term.
Centereach Fire District
Incumbent Thomas Doyle
Thomas Doyle is seeking reelection in this year’s election. Doyle has also been the chairman of the board of fire commissioners for the past three years.
He said highlights of his time as commissioner include helping to improve the district’s bond rating from A1 to AAA, being fiscally responsible and staying within budget each year.
Doyle has been a Lake Grove resident since 2003 and is committed to protecting and being accountable to the people of the Centereach and Lake Grove communities.
Challenger Cathy Padro
Cathy Padro said she is running for the fire commissioner position to make the fire district more responsive to community residents and fire department members alike.
A longtime resident of Centereach and Lake Grove, she has been a member of the fire department for five years. She is EMT certified, serves as a member of the training staff and is an adviser to the department’s junior company.
Padro is active in the community, having served as a school PTA member and as a religion teacher at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary R.C. Church for over 10 years.
She has championed the Teddy Bear Clinic sponsored by the district and held at local schools. If elected, Padro is committed to restoring this program, which was recently scaled back. She believes training for members should be expanded and the ongoing building renovation project completed in a transparent and fiscally responsible manner.
Selden Fire District
Incumbent Robert McConville
Robert McConville has served as fire commissioner for the past 10 years and has been the chairman of the board for the past eight. He is seeking another five-year term.
McConville has been a 37-year member of the Selden Fire Department and a 52-year member of the Suffolk County Volunteer Fire Service.
McConville said everything the board of fire commissioners does is a group effort. He touted the “great inroads” the department has made in the last five years. Highlights include overhauling the department’s existing fleet, continuing to have some of the best trained firefighters and overseeing one of the busiest volunteer firefighter departments in the state.
Challenger William Xikis
Looking to unseat McConville for the fire commissioner position, William Xikis has been a Selden native for over 45 years and has deep roots in the community. He has been a 34-year member of the Selden Fire Department and is an active member of the fire district.
Xikis served as the chief of the Selden Fire Department in 2005, 2006, 2017
He said that one of his goals during his tenure as chief of the department was to have better communication with the board of fire commissioners.
In the role of commissioner, he will make sure tax dollars are spent judicially and ensure they continue to have a strong support system.
Centereach residents can vote at the fire district headquarters located at 9 South Washington Ave. Dec. 10. Polls will be open from 2 to 9 p.m.
Selden residents will vote at the main firehouse on Woodmere Place from 3 to 9 p.m. Dec. 10.
There will also be a resolution where residents will be asked to vote on the purchase of an aerial/ladder truck at an estimated maximum cost of $1,600,000, authorizing the financing by an installment purchase contract for the purchase price over a maximum five-year term of level payments at an interest rate of 3.12 percent.