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Uncontested East Hampton Fire District Elections Set for Tuesday

Chris Harmon looks to become newcomer on Springs board; incumbents seek re-election in Montauk and Amagansett.

In this year's fire district elections there is in the Town of East Hampton, in Bridgehampton. The three other elections for commissioner taking place on Tuesday are uncontested.

Barring any successful write-in candidates, the Springs Fire District Board of Commissioners will have a newcomer on the board. Veteran firefighter Chris Harmon, who worked for 20 years in the White Plains Fire Department, has decided to see what it's like on the district side of the department. Former chairman Patrick Lyons is not seeking re-election.

"I just want to get involved and see what it's all about," Harmon said, adding that he has a great deal of understanding of fire equipment and apparatus, training and National Fire Protection Association standards.

"I've got a tremendous amount of education," he said, from the years on the job in White Plains, where he was a deputy chief aid, running fire scenes, and in charge of an engine company.

He also comes from a family firefighters. His father was with that same department and his grandfather was a charter member in 1893. His grandfather was also the first chief of police in the City of White Plains.

But, Harmon has ties to the South Fork to when he was infant. His family vacationed in Montauk for many years and he moved to Springs in 1981, spending seven years commuting to Westchester for work. He's been retired for over 20 years.

In retirement he has been working construction and owns Harmon Builders and Hog Creek Woodworking. Four years ago, he signed up as a volunteer with Springs and has been mainly driving the ambulances. He runs on a squad that works for seven nights in a row every seven weeks.

His name will appear on the ballot as William C. (Chris) Harmon. takes place at the on Tuesday between 6 and 9 p.m.

Out in Montauk, current Chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioner Joe Dryer is running for his second term on the board.

Dryer is also a member of the fire department, having joined about seven years ago, transferring from his department in Scarsdale. He had been living in Montauk part-time for over 30 years.

"I love the fire department. I love the concept of volunteering," Dryer said, adding that it is a rewarding experience. "The department does a lot more for me than I do for it."

A former Merchant Marine, Dryer taught math at New Rochelle High School for 37 years.

In 2007, Dryer was newly elected when the board uncovered more than half a million dollars had been used by the then district secretary-treasurer Terri Gaines for her personal use from 1999 to 2005. In 2009, she pleaded guilty to felony grand larceny, paid restitution, and served a prison sentence.

Dryer said the new board has continued to evolve since then. "There are so many checks and balances in place now," he said, adding that he was proud of the way the board handled such a serious problem.

takes place at the on Tuesday between 2 and 9 p.m.

In Amagansett, Commissioner J. Kent Howie is running for re-election. Howie is just finishing his first term.

"I've got some unfinished things that we've got going on that I want to see completed," Howie said. He has been an integral part of the "greening" of the fire district in an attempt to reduce its carbon footprint. Earlier this year, solar panels were installed on the roof of the firehouse and last month a wind turbine was installed on the property behind the newly purchased building next to the firehouse that used to house Pacific East restaurant.

"I was ecstatic to be able to, for us to collectively work together, to put that type of stuff on there and to have the support of the membership to have it there," he said.

Next, he'd like to now turn his attention to changing over the heating and air conditioning to make it more energy efficient.

Howie works as a construction manager with Park East Construction, based in Huntington. He has been a member of the fire department for 20 years. He also works as a deputy fire coordinator for the county, a job that entails assisting chiefs in other departments coordinate mutual aid at scenes.

takes place at the on Tuesday between 6 and 9 p.m.

All terms are for five years.

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