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LETTERS: Protect local voters’ rights

— It does not seem wise to take the power from the people to elect and transfer that power to the town board. Under current New York State law, elected town highway superintendents must be residents of the town. They are not only physically more accessible to residents, but also more likely to be trusted and accessible when issues arise.

The bottom line: Our roads are the only local service used daily by nearly every resident. During snow and weather emergencies, the highway superintendent works 24/7 and by law does not charge the taxpayers any overtime. If a resident needs their road plowed at 4 a.m. to get to work, or even worse, if there is a medical emergency, the highway superintendent is there to help. Will the appointed town highway superintendent be available at all hours in a manner that is cost effective? So, why does the Town of Van Buren want to change this position?

Please urge everyone to support their right to vote on this important issue. Keep your power to choose.

Joseph Amico is the NYSAOTSOH president from the Town of Gates, Monroe County. NYSAOTSOH is the state’s largest transportation association representing highway superintendents in 932 towns, most of who are elected officials responsible for maintaining local highways. This massive system consists of 60,000 centerline miles and more than 4,000 highway bridges. NYSAOTSOH members maintain more than 65 percent of the roads in New York.

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