Keith Clark tapped as fire commission chairman

JULIE LANE PHOTO | Keith Clark took the oath of office as chairman of the Shelter Island Fire District Board of Commissioners Tuesday night.

Keith Clark was elected chairman of the Shelter Island Fire District Board of Commissioners Tuesday night.

Mr. Clark is taking over the reins from Andy Steinmuller.

Mr. Clark has been a commissioner for 11 years and served the Fire Department for 38 years, about 20 of those as an officer, including serving as chief.

His election as commission chairman follows the usual practice of choosing the commissioner whose five-year term expires the following December.

Commissioner Andy Reeve will serve as deputy chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners.

Among the work the commissioners will face in the year ahead is the purchase of a new truck. Everyone will be involved in the effort to identify the most appropriate vehicle, Mr. Clark said, indicating that the commissioners will be looking to the chiefs for advice before reaching a decision on a purchase.

“Hopefully, it will go along smoothly,” he said about his term as chairman. This is the second time he has been commission chairman.

The Fire District’s  organizational meeting had been postponed from its original January 2 date to Tuesday night because of blizzard-like conditions that moved into the area last Thursday night.

Ironically, the meeting reschedule resulted in the commissioners having to pay separately for snow removal after last week’s storm because they hadn’t yet accepted a new bid for the work, a move that took place Tuesday night. But they will ask Walter Richards, who was given the job for 2014, to agree to carry over his contract through January 6, 2015, the date of the district’s next reorganizational meeting to avoid getting caught in the same situation.

Lynda Steinmuller will continue to clean the three firehouses at an annual cost of $7,800.