Sheldon Moskowitz is stepping down as Massapequa Fire District Commissioner.
Moskowitz made the announcement at Monday’s Fire District Board meeting, ending his 11-year tenure on the Department's Board.
Though he will continue to serve with the department, Moskowitz will not be seeking re-election in the upcoming Fire District elections; he feels that a new, fresh perspective is needed in guiding the Department.
"After 11 years, it's time to get somebody else up here with some fresh ideas," he said. "It's just time to move on."
Fire District Chairman Michael Hanna feels that with the departure of Moskowitz, the Board has its work cut out for it finding the right man to fill his shoes.
"He's been a great asset to us, and we're going to miss him," he said. "He's been a good worker for us."
The position of Commissioner, which is an unpaid public service, is an important one in the Fire District; it helps to decide matters such as policy and budget. The sole candidate currently running for Moskowitz's soon-to-be vacated position is Justin McCaffrey, himself a past Fire District Commissioner and the current Commissioner of Public Safety for the Town of Oyster Bay.
Meanwhile, the current Nassau County economic woes continues to cause issues across the board, and according to Hanna, the Massapequa Fire Department is no more immune to this malady than any other public service.
The latest issue involves the firefighting training facility in Bethpage, which has requested that their affiliated Fire Departments now start paying for a formally free service.
"With the County budget, everything's being cut...every year we have to have the pumps in our engines tested," he said. "They want to charge us $225 per engine to be tested...they're going to use that money to offset some of the classes they would have to cancel. Otherwise, to run the pump test, they would have to take an instructor who would be teaching a class and instead put him into the pump test. By collecting this money, they’ll be able to have more classes."
To that end, the Massapequa Fire District agreed to pay the new pump testing fees.
"We feel the classes are more important," Hanna said.
The Board also renewed a yearly contract with a physical trainer, whose job it is to keep the men and women who safeguard the lives of Massapequa residents pumped up and ready to roll at a moment's notice.
"He comes twice a week to each of the fire houses and trains the guys in physical fitness," Hanna said. "We have a fitness center in each fire house, so he works with them...he sets up individual programs for each of them."
The next regularly-scheduled meeting of the Massapequa Fire Department Board is on Monday, December 12, at 8 p.m.