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Four eye highway position

Primaries brewing on Democratic and Republican lines in Bethlehem

Bethlehem Highway Department.

Bethlehem Highway Department.

— “I wanted to do something to help the community I lived in and the superintendent of highways remains an important job, no matter what your views on how the vote should have gone,” he said. “I have the experience and the background needed.”

Meredith said he has yet to speak with anyone within the department about what they would like to see changed, but would like to try achieve some of the same efficiencies that were talked about by Town Board members when there was talk of consolidation with the DPW. So far, he is paying for his campaign himself and petitions are being circulated on his behalf through the work of family and friends.

“I think my experience and work with the Navy makes me the most qualified guy in the Democratic race,” he said. “People care about this and I don’t think we can rely on someone the party picks who may or may not be qualified.”

Meredith interviewed for the endorsement of the Democrats, but was neither nominated nor selected.

Meanwhile, Bethlehem Republicans and county Conservatives have endorsed the town’s Coordinator of the Development Planning Committee Terry Ritz. Howard Hyer, a manager within the town’s Highway Department, said he plans to primary Ritz on the Republican line.

Ritz, a member of the Independence Party, has worked with the engineering division of the town for the past 27 years and was the previous executive director of the Bethlehem Industrial Development Agency. He has been attending highway superintendent training and finished up with classes in October, he said. For the past four years, he has also been working with highway employees to see where he could improve the department.

“Most of my goals came from current highway staff, and I’m already a familiar face,” he said.

Ritz said he would also like to evaluate the department’s equipment to see what could be consolidated with other departments. He would also like to eliminate a policy that stipulates when employees have to take their mandatory two-week vacation.

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