Seats for fire district commissioner are up for the vote this coming Tuesday across the North Fork, and a couple are contested this year — two candidates are running for one seat in both the fire districts of Cutchogue and Orient.
In Orient, fire department members Bill Wysocki and Richard Milligan are running for a seat to left vacant by incumbent Robert Scott.
Voting takes place Dec. 11 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Orient Fire House.
Milligan has been a member of the fire department since 2009 and has been a homeowner in Orient since 1992. He is retired from American airlines, where he worked in flight operations for 32 years. Milligan believes that there are strong similarities between the airline and the fire department businesses.
“There is a lot of training and equipment involved, and I would like to see more training on more equipment,” he said. “I’ve been concerned with safety in flight for years and I carry that line of thinking with the fire department.”
Milligan is now a fulltime Orient resident and has summered on the North Fork since 1971.
Lifelong Orient resident Bill Wysocki has been a member of the Orient Fire Department for 39 years and has been named fireman of the year twice during his long career. He continues to own and operate a lawn care service as he has done most of his life, is also a licensed home inspector, and says he is running for the board of commissioners because right now the board is “made up of all retired government employees.”
“I don’t think the board has much of a long-range goal for the department,” he said, adding that Wysocki thinks the department has too much equipment.
For both candidates, Orient’s unique situation regarding water supply is always a focus. With no public water supply, there are only a few wells in Orient to pump from, so carrying water to fires in tankers — and calling for tankers from other departments immediately is essential for each fire. The staging by every fire department on the North Fork to extinguish an Orient garage fire in February was testament to this.
“We’ve got it down to a science,” Milligan said. “It would have to be an extreme situation for us to run out of water.”
Read about the race for commissioner in Cutchogue here.
Candidates up for the vote for seats on North Fork fire departments’ boards of commissioners are as follows:
Mattituck: Incumbent Lloyd Reisenberg
Cutchogue: Incumbent Sanford Friemann, challenger Jeff Smith
Southold: Incumbent Chairman William Sawicki
East Marion: Newcomer Laura Fauteux is running unopposed
Orient: Newcomers Richard Milligan and Bill Wysocki are both running for one vacant seat
(NOTE – Greenport Fire Department's election takes place in April.)
Voting takes place Dec. 11 from 6 to 9 p.m. at local fire houses.
Who will you vote for in Orient? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.
Let Patch save you time. Get great local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone every day with our free newsletter. Simple, fast sign-up here.