LETTERS: Keep Van Buren highway superintendent an elected position

— There is a reason for more than 90 percent of town highway superintendents being elected in New York State rather than appointed. “The public likes it that way.” One only has to glance at the front page of the Post Standard’s Sunday, Aug. 19, edition headline: “The County Exec’s Friends and Family Plan.” The article sites replacement of numerous positions in county government with family members, friends and campaign workers. She actually increased the county budget by starting several of them at advanced pay steps, some having no experience in the appointed position. With an elected highway superintendent in place, individuals may contact the superintendent with a problem avoiding the necessity of working through the chain of command to discuss their concern directly.

Another issue is the fact that in the town of Van Buren, the supervisor and councilors are all republicans. This eliminates the possibility, or lowers the chances of next to none, of a democrat or someone representing another political party being appointed as highway superintendent. An elected position keeps the decision in the hands of the voters eliminating favoritism by those in office and the opportunity to appoint someone of their choice. In my opinion, the town board should not be allowed this degree of power and control.

I intend to vote in November to keep the Van Buren Highway Superintendent’s position an elected position decided by the voters. In the event the people of Van Buren feel the position is not being handled adequately, they will have an opportunity to make the decision of who will fill the position at election time.

Neil Daniels is a resident of Van Buren.

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