GREENBURGH, N.Y. The Hartsdale Fire District elections were tight, but long-time incumbent Frances Stanley kept her seat on the board of commissioners Tuesday night.
In Hartsdale's first contested election in over a decade, Stanley beat challengers Mark Cohen and Richard Leo with 127 votes, equaling 43 percent of the total vote. Cohen, a former member of the Ardsley school board, received 122 votes, while Richard Leo, who retired as deputy chief in October, received 42 votes.
The district's 2012 budget is $9.95 million, approximately a $640,000 increase from 2011. Most of the money is being used for salaries, health care and taxes, said district secretary Sharon Spagnoli.
"The biggest challenge going forward is trying to maintain services," said Hartsdale Fire Chief Ed Rush. "I don't really see us being able to add much with the economy being what it is and without trying to raise taxes. Being a smaller department, there's just not a lot of fat to cut."
The commissioners will have to juggle fixed costs that are increasing such as pensions, medical and worker's compensation insurance, while also dealing with tax certioraris.
"This year, we had over a million dollars in tax refunds that we had to pay out to the certioraris," Rush said. "That's 10 percent of our budget."
Newly-reelected Stanley, a board member for more than 20 years, ran unopposed in her last election, as did her fellow commissioners, Chairman Robert Broderick, John Alleva, Fred Overing and Andy Mentrasti.
"It was a very busy election," said Spagnoli, who attributed the 291 voters to the three running candidates.
Greenburgh's two other fire districts held uncontested elections Tuesday night. Fairview's James Robinson and Greenville's Helene Orce were both reinstated.
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