Dryer Returned To Fire District Board in Big Montauk Turnout

Fire commissioners were elected on Tuesday in four districts serving residents of the Town of East Hampton. In Montauk and Amagansett, where there were contested races, more people than usual turned out to vote.

In Montauk, there were 386 ballots cast during the seven hours that the polls were open. Joseph Dryer, the current chairman of the board of commissioners, won a third term on the board with 280 votes. Peter Joyce, a former chief who waged a write-in campaign after his nominating petition was not submitted in time, received 83 votes, with one write-in vote each for Eddie Ecker and Chuck Morici. Terri Czeczotka, the district secretary-treasurer, said that 21 of the votes were spoiled.

Dwayne Denton, a former Amagansett fire chief, unseated the incumbent, J. Kent Howie, on Amagansett's board of commissioners with 66 of the 89 votes. Mr. Howie, who was seeking a third term, received 22 votes. There was one write-in vote for Bruce Stonemetz, according to Jessica Cantwell, the district secretary-treasurer.

Voters in Bridgehampton were asked to go to two polling places -- the school, which held a successful referendum (see page 1) on a nearly $25 million renovation and expansion project, and the firehouse. There, according to The Sag Harbor Express, voters handily passed the Bridgehampton Fire District's proposition to increase spending on its length-of-service award program for volunteers, a pension program that is often seen as helping the department to recruit and retain members. It was approved by a margin of 50 to 4. Robert Comfort, running unopposed, was elected to a five-year term as a fire commissioner. He received 53 votes; one write-in vote was submitted. Mr. Comfort was appointed to the board in July to fill Ray Topping's vacant seat. Mr. Topping, whose term would have been up on Dec. 31, resigned in May.

The Springs Fire District saw the lowest voter turnout, with just 22 people casting ballots, all for William C. Harmon. Mr. Harmon will serve his second five-year term.

With reporting by Christine Sampson