Former chief Joe Papa running unopposed for New Hyde Park fire commissioner

Former chief Joe Papa running unopposed for New Hyde Park fire commissioner
Joe Papa, of New Hyde Park. (Photo courtesy of the candidate)

Former fire chief Joe Papa is running unopposed for New Hyde Park fire commissioner on Dec. 13. 

The New Hyde Park native has been a member of the village’s fire department since April 1, 1977. His experience includes being chief and deputy chief and serving as both a captain and 2nd lieutenant for the Active Hook & Ladder Co. 1.

“With my experience as chief I think the district is going in the right direction right now,” Papa said to Blank Slate Media. “It’s a good time for me to help out and move it in the right direction.”

If elected, Papa would be taking the seat of Ernest Gentile, who is not seeking re-election.

The fire district, which serves the village and unincorporated areas in North New Hyde Park, is governed by a three-member board of commissioners that each serves three-year terms. The terms are staggered and a new seat becomes available each year.

Along with Gentile, Joseph Abukoush and Chairman Reid Sakowich make up the rest of the board. 

The district has a $4.7 million budget for 2023, an increase of over $90,000 from 2022. 

Professionally, Papa is a lieutenant in the New York City Fire Department. 

“I’m going to be responsible and keep us moving forward, that’s what I’m here for,” Papa said. “I’m hoping to keep everyone in the department, taxpayers in the district and community happy.”

Voting for New Hyde Park Fire District commissioner will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 13 from 1 to 9 p.m. at the district headquarters at 1555 Jericho Turnpike in New Hyde Park. 

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