Joseph Abukoush, who is running unopposed for New Hyde Park fire commissioner, said his experience in the Fire Department and in business equip him for the job.
In a special election being held on Tuesday, Abukoush, a 31-year-old business owner, is seeking the seat vacated by Mike Stein, who is not seeking re-election after one term.
As a homeowner in New Hyde Park after growing up, Abukoush said he has taken great pride in the service he has provided his community. He served for about six years in Estates Engine Co. 3, where he was both treasurer and lieutenant. In 2016 he moved to Active Hook and Ladder Co. 1, where he currently serves as secretary and lieutenant.
Abukoush said he considered his youth an advantage when considering the election. With a business degree from St. John’s University, he said he believes he could add a valuable perspective to the board.
“I understand what the needs the department itself wants and the commissioner’s responsibility on top of that,” Abukoush said in an interview with Blank Slate Media. “I am heavily involved in all aspects of budget and spending, with my background of being in the Fire Department for the last 13 years, I feel going into this position that I can help this community greatly.”
Considering his priorities if elected, he said the department is in a good spot and he is focused on providing help where he can. Despite his age, he said he feels very comfortable with the current board and officers throughout the department.
“If elected, I’m probably going to be one of the youngest commissioners this department has ever seen, but I’m used to that,” Abukoush said. “I work in a family business, joining my father when I was a teenager. I feel I have matured at a very young age and am ready to take on this responsibility and do it well.”
Voting for New Hyde Park Fire District commissioner will take place on Tuesday from 1 to 9 p.m. at the district headquarters at 1555 Jericho Turnpike in New Hyde Park.