On June 19, 2012 — almost five years ago to the day — the mayor, councilman, fire chief and president of the Sun City Summerlin Board of Directors beamed with pride as they participated in the grand-opening ceremony for Las Vegas Fire and Rescue Station No. 107, at Del Webb Boulevard and Sundial Drive.
A few weeks ago another ceremony took place at the same station. The same mayor and councilman were there to speak, as was a new fire chief.
But this time a new president of the Sun City board spoke, because the former president, David W. Steinman, passed away Jan. 29. And the purpose of the ceremony was to dedicate the community room at the fire station in Steinman’s memory.
As Stavros Anthony, the Ward 4 councilman during both occasions, stated: “This fire station was number one to Dave Steinman. He was here every day during its construction to keep an eye on things.” Anthony, who conceived the dedication, went on to say, “We are here to honor a good friend.”
“A good friend.” Those were the keynote words. Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman uttered them when she also defined Steinman as “a good man, a kind man. It’s perfect that Councilman Anthony came up with this concept to honor him. I always knew him as Councilman Steinman.”
And indeed he was Councilman Steinman, for six months in 2009. He had been appointed by former Mayor Oscar Goodman to fill out the City Council term of Larry Brown, who was elected to the county commission.
But to Joe O’Connell, who succeeded Steinman as president of the Sun City board, “he was always President Steinman and a good friend. The one thing he was most proud of was this fire house.”
Willie McDonald, who replaced Mike Myers to become Las Vegas’ fire chief during the intervening years, added, “He was our friend. He always made me feel like family.”
It was a theme among the hundred or so friends of Dave Steinman’s who attended the ceremony. My wife, Fran, and I were among them.
We vividly recalled the personal tour of the magnificent fire station that an effervescent Steinman conducted just for Fran and me shortly after the facility opened. Along the way, several firefighters joined in to praise the man who made Fire Station 107 possible.
“I have spent four and a half years on this project,” Steinman told me, as quoted in this column of Oct. 15, 2012. “I went to every construction meeting. I met with every public official who was involved.”
That was after a hard-fought special election in the senior community to obtain approval of two-thirds of the resident homeowners, as required by Sun City rules, for the fire station to be built in the community. Would you believe there was a hard core of residents opposed to the facility?
My column went on to quote Steinman:
“As it turned out, the need for this place is undisputed. Now we have residents who keep telling us how gratified they are to have this facility in Sun City.”
Steinman and his wife, Mary, moved to Sun City in 1999 and he became active in the community’s affairs almost immediately. He served on the board of directors for 12 of those years, mostly as president. But due in large measure to his background in banking and finance in his native Ohio, Steinman also served as the community’s treasurer.
The plaque that now sits in the “David W. Steinman Room,” bearing the seal of the city, reads:
“In recognition of his dedication and service to the City of Las Vegas, Sun City Summerlin and Fire Station 107.”
Herb Jaffe was an op-ed columnist and investigative reporter for most of his 39 years at the Star-Ledger of Newark, New Jersey. His most recent novel, “Double Play,” is now available. Contact him at email@example.com.