Former Nyack fire chief Jay Phillips has been elected as a commissioner for the Nyack Joint Fire District in an election that brought out more than 500 voters to the polls.
Fire officials said the election brought generated one of the largest turnouts for a Nyack fire district election.
Phillips received 321 votes and former Nyack fire chief Jim Scully received 197 votes, for a total of 518 votes. Voters went to the polls at two locations in Nyack: Residents north of Main Street in Nyack voted at the Park Street firehouse, with residents living south of Main Street voting at the Nyack Senior Center.
Although Phillips easily won in the balloting, the tally was very close among residents south of Main Street, with Phillips winning in that area by just one vote, 81-80.
The fire district's board of commissioners is responsible for the financial operations of the Nyack Fire Department. The department's line officers control the day-to-day operations and firefighting efforts of the department, which covers Nyack, Upper Nyack, South Nyack and Upper Grandview.
Phillips and Scully both thanked fellow firefighters for the support following the election.
Phillips said he felt the election was especially important for the fire district because of low morale in the fire department and what he considers a lack of transparency with the board of commissioners and the public.
"I'm hoping I can make a difference," said Phillips.
Members of the Nyack Fire Department are all volunteers. As a commissioner, Phillips replaces outgoing commissioner Richard Matteson, who has been involved with the fire district since its creation 12 years ago. The post has a five-year term.