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Two Vying for Commish Seat in Montauk

Chief Richard Schoen and Firefighter Dave Ryan are both seeking election to the Montauk Board of Fire Commissioners.

Richard Schoen, left, and Dave Ryan, right, are running for one seat on the Montauk Board of Fire Commissioners.
Richard Schoen, left, and Dave Ryan, right, are running for one seat on the Montauk Board of Fire Commissioners.
Voters of the Montauk Fire District are being asked to decide between two members of the fire department who are looking to take a seat at the board of fire commissioners' table. 

Richard Schoen, the current fire chief who is leaving the post at the end of the month, and Dave Ryan, who has been a lieutenant of Company No. 3 on and off for the past eight years, are both vying for a seat. Dick White is not seeking re-election. 

The term will be for five years. 

Schoen has been a chief for seven years, serving the last three years as the head chief. He has been a member of the department for 24 years, having lived in Montauk for 29 years. 

Now retired, he used to own two printing businesses on Long Island. He is the grandfather of three.

He previously served as a fire commissioner for two and a half years, filling out an unexpired term, he said.

"I'm qualified," Schoen said. "Things are changing here and I can help the district during these changes," he said. 

This past summer, the district implemented a new paid paramedic program where there is one paid personnel on duty 24/7 during the summer (several work different shifts) and during the day during the off-season. 

Ryan said he's excited about the program's future. "I think it could use some modeling or shaping," he said. "We're a unique community with unique needs because of geography and distance from hospital." He would like to see the paramedics offer some training to the volunteers so that the volunteers do not have to travel long distances to classes.  

Ryan has been a volunteer fireman for 17 years. He also drives the ambulance. "I know the fire department very well," he said, adding that he sees being on the board as the next step in his community service. 

Ryan is a real estate agent with Pospisil Real Estate in Montauk. He is also a real estate appraiser. "A lot of people know me as a bar tender, too — I've worked at a lot of different restaurants," he said. 

He has two sons in East Hampton High School; Jack, 17, and Sean, 15. A native of Binghamton, N.Y., He's lived in Montauk 32 years, ever since visiting with a college friend and falling in love with the area. 

This isn't Ryan's first time running for commissioner. He lost to Carmine Marino seven years ago, he said, adding that he decided this summer he wanted to try again. 

"I hope it's a big turnout," Ryan said, adding that he thinks having a race is good for the district because it gets more people involved. "I look forward to carrying on the tradition of protecting and serving the Montauk community with the members of the Montauk Fire Department."

"It would be nice if all registered voters turned out and voted for the candidate they feel best qualified for the position of fire commissioner.  I would like to believe I am that person," Schoen said. 

The election will be held on Tuesday at the firehouse between 2 and 9 p.m.

Montauk residents: Who are you supporting for fire commissioner? Tell us in the comments below.

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