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LETTERS: Lysander appoints highway superintendent?

— To the editor:

I would like to commend the Lysander Town Board by hiring an engineer in an effort to reduce costs for Lysander. For those who did not attend the Lysander Town Board Meeting on March 26, our new board hired an engineer at a cost of around $130,000 a year, including benefits. This comes out to roughly $65/hr. Quite a savings over the going rates from $100-$125/hr. Even though this person will not be able to handle every engineering question or issue that arises, it will give Lysander an on-hand person to bounce ideas off of, without having to be “on the clock.”

The issue I have with this position is they have made the town engineer the deputy highway superintendent also. Our current highway superintendent will be retiring soon. There has been no deputy super for a few years, I believe. The highway superintendent is an elected position. When the town board was asked how this move will save us money, they pointed out the current highway super salary of around $80,000, including benefits. Mr. Salisbury said he would get back to that question in a few months. The engineer they hired does not live in Lysander, so he would not be able to run for that position. That leads me to believe they plan on changing highway superintendent to an appointed, not elected position.

Our new board has made many changes in its’ few short months, some good and some bad, in my opinion. I am against possibly taking a position out of the voters’ hands. I would also like to see a town engineer, highway super, or deputy super, live in the community they will be making decisions for. Please be active in your local government by attending, calling or asking questions of your elected officials.

Kevin Rode is a resident of Lysander.

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