RICHARD FIRSTNER (INCUMBENT)
District 3 Commissioner Richard Firstner has worked for the city the past 28 years — since 1995 — when he was offered the position of assistant fire chief. He retired from the department in 2009 and has served 35 years in public service. Firstner ran for the District 3 Commissioner seat for the first time in 2016. He has lived in Wesmere since 2010.
How did you find your way to Ocoee?
My career in the fire service has taken me from Daytona Beach to the Kennedy Space Center and then to the Florida Fire College in Ocala. When offered the opportunity to work in Ocoee, I jumped at the chance to return home to Central Florida.
Under my administration, I prepared the Ocoee Fire Department to achieve Advanced Life Support (paramedic) delivery and transport, an ISO rating of No. 1 and national accreditation. I am proud of the way the fire department has developed into a premier fire and rescue delivery service in the state.
Why are you running for re-election?
We, as a commission, have accomplished great things moving the city into the future. We have increased the number of homes, businesses and jobs in the city, all while holding the line on costs and taxes to the residents. We have lowered the millage rate each year for the past seven years in a row.
(I want to) see the many projects that we have already started to completion. The Community Redevelopment Agency has plans to rejuvenate the State Road 50 corridor, the coming of the City Center project and the prospect of welcoming a youth sports complex are a few of the projects I would like to complete. We are already well underway with the Downtown Redevelopment project with the new City Hall, Lakeshore Center and Unity Park.
How do you differ from the other candidates?
I am proud to represent my friends and neighbors of District 3 with whom I have lived and worked every day, and will continue to serve them, listen to their concerns, answer their questions and work in their best interests.