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POV: Keep highway head in Bethlehem

The assumption often made is that taxpayer dollars will be saved. The position of highway superintendent is a full-time job with many overtime hours worked in response to highway emergencies. By law, in an elected position you are not able to receive overtime. If the position becomes appointed the Town Board will not only determine who would fill the position they would also potentially have the option of whether or not they provide payment of overtime.

During snow and weather emergencies, an elected highway superintendent works 24/7 and does not charge the taxpayers any overtime. If a resident needs their road plowed at 4 a.m. to get to work, or even worse, if there is a medical emergency, the highway superintendent is there to help. Will the appointed town highway superintendent be available at all hours in a manner that is cost effective?

It does not seem wise to take the power from the people to elect and transfer that power to the Town Board. Under current New York state law, elected town highway superintendents must be residents of the town. They are not only physically more accessible to the motoring public, but also more likely to be trusted and accessible when issues arise.

Please urge everyone to support their right to vote on this important issue. Keep your power to choose!

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