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Mount Pleasant Fire Elections Tuesday

MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. - In Mount Pleasant, there are uncontested fire commissioner elections in the Valhalla, Hawthorne and Pleasantville Fire Departments that are set to take place Tuesday evening. Each department will elect one fire commissioner for a five year term that will commence on January 1, 2012 and conclude on December 31, 2016.

In the Valhalla Fire Department, Ken Hoffarth is a current commissioner and will run uncontested for the commissioner seat after being in office for 30 years. Hoffarth said his experience will be a plus for the board.

“We have a lot of issues going forward with managing funds and things, especially with the state two percent tax cap,” Hoffarth said. “We need a person with experience to confront those issues and I’m that person,”

In the Hawthorne Fire Department, Drew Puntigam will run uncontested for commissioner. The Hawthorne Fire Department’s website lists Puntigam as a 25 plus year member of the force.

Kenneth G. Wagner is an incumbent commissioner in the Pleasantville Fire Department that will run again this year for the same position after being elected last year for the first time to fill an expired position.

The Thornwood Fire Department will also hold an election Tuesday. Messages left on the department's general mailbox and board of commissioners mailbox were not immediately returned.

Fire districts differ from fire departments in that districts have the authority to set their own budget and to levy taxes, while departments are funded through a municipality's budget, said Robert Broderick, a Hartsdale resident, who represents Region 7 of the state's Association of Fire Districts

The fire district commissioners' role is to establish a department's budget, implement the tax levy, oversee the fire houses and negotiate employee contracts, Broderick said.

All elections will take place on Tuesday at the departments respective locations from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. All voters registered with the Westchester County Board of Elections on or before November 20 shall be eligible to vote.

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