This story has been updated.
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Annual elections for local fire department officers were Tuesday in Hartsdale, Fairview and Greenville: And the outcomes of two fire commissioner elections were very close.
"Every vote counts," proclaimed Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner, who noted that the outcome of elections in Hartsdale and Greenville were decided by margins of fewer than 20 votes, respectively.
New York State schedules the annual fire district elections at a time most people aren't focusing on local government, according to Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner.
In December, right before the holidays. Usually, very few people vote. But -the fire district elections are important, Feiner said. Fire district taxes are almost as high as town taxes. The Fire districts are totally independent of the town government. The Board of Fire Commissioners sets policy for the fire district, approves a budget, approves contracts for their employees. Meetings are held at the Fire Houses.
In Hartsdale, there was a contested election. Incumbent Fire Commissioner Frances Stanley edged challenger Mona Fraitag, who is president of the Poet's Corner Civic Association, by 474 votes to 457 votes, according to the initial count released Wednesday. The election was held at the Hartsdale Fire Department on Central Avenue.
In Fairview, retired Fairview Fire Department Deputy Chief John Malone was re-elected after running unopposed. The election was at the Fairview Fire Department Headquarters at 19 Rosemont Boulevard and 290 Worthington Road.
The annual election of the Greenville Fire District also took place Tuesday at Greenville Fire District Headquarters, 711 Central Ave., Scarsdale, for the purpose of electing one commissioner for a five-year term, commencing on Jan. 1, 2017, and ending on Dec. 31, 2021.
This year, Fire Commissioner Helene Orce, board chair, narrowly escaped a write-in vote challenge by Warren Herskowitz. According to Wednesday's count, Orce led Herskowitz with 115 votes to his 103 write-in votes.
"Congratulations to the winners," Feinberg said. "And thank you to the unsuccessful contenders for participating in the election process."