14 Sep 2014
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Some New Names Enter Fire Commish Races

Fire district elections set for Dec. 11.

Some New Names Enter Fire Commish Races

While there is only one contested race in this year's round of fire district commissioners elections within the Town of East Hampton, there are several new names on the ballots.

For the second year in a row, Bridgehampton Fire District voters will have to chose between two volunteers for a seat at the commissioners' table.

Two longtime volunteers, Tom Dombkowski, a Bridgehampton Fire Department firefighter who was appointed as a commissioner in September, and Philip Cammann, the department's only paramedic, are vying for one seat on the board, according to Charlie Butler, the district secretary.

Dombkowski, a Sagaponack resident, and Cammann, a Bridgehampton resident, are looking to fulfill the last two years of John Muse's unexpired term. Muse resigned in August, and the board of fire commissioners appointed Dombkowski to the seat to finish out the year.

At the same time, the board also appointed Dean Foster to fill a vacancy left by Jeffrey Louchheim, who also resigned after what was a contentious year between the district and the department. Louchheim's term was up at the end of the 2012.

Foster, a former member of the fire department, is running uncontested in December's election for a full five-year term, Butler said. A Sagaponack farmer, he is the son of Cliff Foster, a longtime commissioner who stepped down last year.

While fire commissioner races tend to be quiet, the elections in Bridgehampton have seen several competitive races in recent years. Last year, Ray Topping Jr. won a close race with Bruce Dombkowski, a former fire commissioner who also happens to be Tom Dombkowski's cousin.

Cammann is not a stranger to the district. He ran against Muse once before, losing by just 11 votes.

He is a paramedic staff manager for Southampton Volunteer Ambulance and teaches at Stony Brook University. Tom Dombkowski works as a foreman for the Southampton Town Highway Department.

Candidates in the three other fire districts within the Town of East Hampton are running unopposed, barring any write-in campaigns.


Michael Benton is the only one who handed in a nominating petition by Wednesday's deadline to have his name on the ballot for the Springs Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners election, according to district secretary Danna Miller. Benton is running for a full five-year term.

Bruce Bates decided not to seek re-election after two terms on the board, he said last week.

Benton, who works at Bistrian Materials, is a firefighter and an emergency medical technician in the Springs Fire Department. In May, he was honored as firefighter of the year.


William Vorpahl Jr. said last week he wants to keep his seat on the Amagansett Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners. When Patch spoke to him, he hadn't handed in his petition just yet, but he said it was ready to go.

Vorpahl is a mechanic at T&B Auto in Amagansett.


Carmine Marino, the only member of the Montauk Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners who is not a member of the fire department, is running for a second term.

Marino, an environmental engineer with the county, said there are a few more projects he'd like to see finished before he feels his work as a fire commissioner is done. Among them is a plan to bring some savings to district taxpayers by installing solar panels on the roof of the firehouse.

Elections take place at the area firehouses on Dec. 11 between 6 and 9 p.m., except in Montauk, where the voting is from 2 to 9 p.m. Look for more information on the candidates in the coming weeks.

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