LETTERS: Separate arms of government necessary

— Driving around town this week, it became apparent that someone has challenged me to a “most signs” campaign. I wish to decline that challenge and instead rely on written and person-to-person communications.

The voting public needs to know that I have the education, work experience and am qualified to lead their highway department in the critical task of providing a safe, well-maintained road network for them. No one needs to tell them that some of those roads are not up to that standard; they see it every day on their way to work or school. No one needs to tell me that it is crucial for the highway department to work closely with the town board. Although I have an independent responsibility to the voting public for road conditions, they have an equally crucial responsibility to control the funding and keep the town fiscally solvent.

I believe that the above paragraph contains the very reasons why our pioneers created those separate arms of local government. Each arm has its distinct responsibility but neither can operate without the full cooperation of the other. So who is best qualified to referee and penalize any part of those arms that fail to perform in the best interest of the town? I say that would be the voting public who can easily observe the performance and change the players at the voting booth. There is no need to change the system when performance is slipping, just change the players. The present system allows all the voters to choose the players, not five age 18 residents who’ve managed to get on the board (age 18 and residency is the legal minimum qualification for town board members as well as the highway superintendent – not that the voters would be that indiscriminate).

Gene Dinsmore is the Lysander Highway Superintendent.

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