Baldwinsville After attending the joint town meeting on appointed vs. elected highway superintendents, and noticing the fewer than expected turnout, I would like to offer my thoughts on the referendum.
Out of around 20 people that spoke at the meeting, nearly a quarter were board members from the village and both towns touting the benefits of appointment. Even though the meeting was held jointly, it was noted time and time again this was not a consolidation meeting, nor was the referendum being suggested to both towns for this reason. If consolidation was not the eventual basis, I am not sure why each town did not hold their own meeting, nor why the Mayor of Baldwinsville was picked as moderator, but that is for a later discussion.
Claude Sykes said that Van Buren would like to make their appointment four years, and consolidation was secondary to the appointment referendum. John Salisbury stated the town board had not discussed the length, but said maybe one or two years. Current town law states that the appointee must reside within the town they are being appointed in, but each town board can pass a new law removing that requirement with only a public hearing and voting on it afterward. Consolidation, and any real cost savings is at least this far off, as seen in our town boards' answers. Consolidation is where the real money will be saved, when the village and both towns move towards one municipality.
Bruce Reeves, our previous town highway superintendent, wrote a letter for appointment of this position. I found this surprising because he never suggested this while he was elected twice before, or when he sought the position and interviewed with the LRC years ago. Four members of the current Lysander Town Board, calling themselves Lysander First, wrote a letter supporting appointment also. This is a majority of the people that appointed our current Highway Superintendent, Gene Dinsmore. John Salisbury and James Hickey conducted preliminary interviews, as they have stated multiple times, and then brought who the best qualified candidates to the town board to for its' decision. They have already had an opportunity to appoint a highway superintendent, and are not happy with their decision. Should we blindly throw our vote away, to possibly cost the taxpayers of Lysander more money?