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COLUMN: From the supervisor - Van Buren offers alternative to historic method

— I also find your letter ironic since at least one of your board members is an appointed superintendent, as was a past president from the Town of Truxton, who served in that capacity for over a decade. The 92 out of 932 (per the Association of Towns) superintendents who are appointed statewide must feel a sense of “second class” status since your letter infers that:

  • They are not hard working
  • They do not maintain safe roads
  • They are not in touch with their constituents’ needs
  • They do not search for new road repair methods
  • They will not work necessary overtime
  • They will cost more money
  • They are not accessible to residents
  • They are trusted less
  • They do not work 24/7 and will not be there to help

Based on your letter one can only assume you actually represent only the elected 840 positions. In reality everything you have outlined in favor of elected superintendents are embodied even more so by appointed superintendents, since they are appointed by boards who know the needs of their towns and their departments as well as the characteristics of their superintendents, who if they do not perform satisfactorily are likely to be replaced by someone who will.

You see I have experience in this field. I was an appointed village superintendent for more than 30 years. I have lived the appointed life and have seen the elected side. Of the two – appointment is what is best for the taxpayers.

Let me leave you with an analogy, which hits this issue directly. If towns were corporations you would not have anyone or any group but the board of directors (town boards) selecting your chief operating officer (superintendent) because the board of directors knows the needs of the corporation and act in the best interest of the shareholders (the public).

Claude E. Sykes is the supervisor for the town of Van Buren. To reach him, call 635-3009.

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