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Deputy department coordinator resigns in Rotterdam

Rotterdam Highway Supervisor James Longo has planned to resign from the position of Deputy Department of Public Works Coordinator after a reduction of his $12,000 stipend to $3.

During the Jan. 1 organizational meeting, the newly elected town board voted 4 to 1 to,\re-appoint various positions, at indicated stipends and salaries, for the year of 2010, according to town documents. The resolution included the decrease of Longo's over $12,000 stipend for the Department of Public Works to $3.

"After the amount of hours I put in last week it showed that it is not an easy job to take care of sewer and water in the town, it's 24/7" said Longo. "The job is time consuming and I won't do it for $3."

According to Longo, a former administration in the town of Rotterdam consolidated the water and sewer department underneath the Highway Department to allow for more manpower with the Highway Department. Longo also stated that during his three years as deputy to the department, the department has been responsive to issues in the town.

Recently, Longo worked to fix five water main breaks in the town of Rotterdam in late December and early January. Two main breaks on Altamont Avenue and Princetown Road on Dec. 26 and 27 set into effect a water boiling advisory, which was later lifted on Dec. 29.

According to his resignation, Longo stated that, "it is apparent and unfortunate that partisan politics has played a key role in reducing the stipend that I received for the many long hours which comes with these responsibilities. The events of the last week's five water main breaks, which were addressed in a timely and efficient manner, are proof of this."

Longo was re-elected to the office of Highway Superintendent in November of 2009. For more information, check back to spotlightnews.com

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