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Sulahian, Sivco face off in fire commissioner race

REPORTER FILE PHOTO
Shelter Island Center Firehouse

Two candidates are seeking support Tuesday to serve a five-year term as a Shelter Island Fire Commissioner.

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO
Greg Sulahian at the Center Firehouse.

COURTESY PHOTO
Scott Sivco, a two-year Fire Department member.

Incumbent Greg Sulahian, who was appointed last summer to fill the term of Andy Steinmuller, wants a full five-year term of his own while newcomer Scott Sivco believes he’s the candidate who can bring fresh ideas to the job.

Mr. Sulahian, 56, is a former fire chief and has been a department member for 34 years, while Mr. Sivco joined the department two years ago.

Mr. Sulahian, who is a member of the Shelter Island School Building and Grounds crew, served as fire department chief for two years, leaving that post in 2017, but remaining active as a firefighter.

“I came up through the ranks,” he said of his years with the department. “I really enjoy doing it,” he added about his work with the Board of Fire Commissioners. As a chief, he regularly met with the board to discuss equipment and other issues affecting the department and said he understands the needs firefighters have.

“I have the experience,” he said, emphasizing the importance of careful monitoring of spending taxpayers’ money.

Mr. Sivco, 29, joined the Fire Department in the fall of 2016 and said he has “experience, integrity and good will” that would be necessary in functioning as a commissioner. He is a graduate of Rutgers University in engineering and believes his knowledge would be helpful to the board as it moves in the direction of replacing its low band radio system with high band service as required by the Federal Communications Commission.

As a pediatric cancer survivor, his research in that field would be valuable in ensuring that department members have the coverage they need under the new Volunteer Firefighter Enhanced Cancer Disability Benefits Act that takes effect in January. He is a certified emergency medical technician in both New Jersey, his home state, and New York and works as a security consultant, providing event security in the tri-state area.

Voting takes place Tuesday between 6 and 9 p.m. at the Center Firehouse.

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