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Friday, July 12, 2024

Local Snapshots: Jeffrey Fischer, Trustee in Head of the Harbor

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‘Local Snapshots’ are intended to be your look into what local government is doing for you, with updates on projects, issues and more. Hopefully, they will give you a quick, up-close glimpse at your local officials.

Background: Jeffrey Fischer, 66, is the owner of an IT Managed Services and Cybersecurity consulting business, which he started in 1988. Fischer was appointed in 2013 to his position on the village board. Fischer moved to the village in 1994. He quickly began serving on the board of zoning appeals, a position he held for 17 years. Prior to becoming a trustee, he was the chairman of the board of zoning appeals.

In his conversation with The Messenger, Fischer emphasized that the board of trustees is a team and that all the accomplishments of the board should be viewed from this lens.

Fischer touched on the success of the village becoming a formal part of the St. James Fire District, as opposed to a customer.

“It gave citizens a vote and allowed Head of the Harbor residents to run for commissioner,” Fischer stated. “If we were going to be assessed at the same valuation per home, we’d like those benefits.”

The process took about eight months and required approval from the Town of Smithtown and Albany.

They are now officially part of the fire district as of 2022.

With Cybersecurity being a hot topic in municipal governance these days following the September Cyberattack on Suffolk County, Fischer was able to speak from his experience on what the village was doing in this area.

“We ran a cybersecurity audit on the Village,” said Fischer. “I provided the board with our findings, and there are definitely things that need to be addressed.”

The village is working with a third[1]party IT services firm to address those areas and has awarded a contract to the vendor to assist in this area.

Fischer added that while there are needs, “the village is at minimal risk.”

He was able to leverage his background in Cybersecurity to help vet potential vendors and explain their findings to the board.

The nature of Head of the Harbor’s systems is “nothing like Suffolk County and nothing that couldn’t be overcome” in the instance of a hack.

“We have backups and would only lose a day’s worth of work at most.” Fischer also touched on the area of public safety.

“In thanks to our police chief and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office, we’ve been able to replenish our police cruiser fleet at no cost to the village residents,” Fischer said. “There was an asset forfeiture program that they were able to utilize – and we had other donations that we received from village residents to help fund the purchase of police cars without taking out any loans or financing.”

“I worked closely with the police chief in getting our speed limits lowered,” said Fischer, noting the success the village has made slowing traffic in its jurisdiction. “We requested the state lower the limit on 25A to 35 MPH.”

Fischer noted that getting radar speed alert signs strategically placed has also helped to slow down traffic on problematic areas.

“I enjoy being a part of the community and trying to maintain the unscathed charm of the village,” added Fischer. “It’s a special place. It’s near and dear to all of our hearts.”

Fischer has personally come out against a proposed assisted living facility on the Bull Run Farm property on Mills Pond Road, which is in close proximity to the village. He has likewise supported protecting open spaces in and around the village.

Brian R. Monahan
Brian R. Monahan
News Editor for The Messenger Papers.