It’s that time of year again; winter is fast approaching. It has been a trying year for every person in our great community. As strong as we all are, we will see this pandemic through and in the end become much stronger.
All of us at the Highway Department did our share to work together with the Town Board. We were asked directly to furlough six men, with which we were in complete agreement. We were asked to save $265,000 out of the highway budget, which we did. This was done to ensure that the Highway Department would be able to run at full capacity next year.
The Highway Department kept on only three men during the furlough period: Greg Coon, Bobby Calhoun and Jim Johnson. While they worked every day, we just couldn’t keep up, and we want to thank residents for their patience.
The Highway Department is now at full staff. We have installed failed road pipes and also reprofiled and paved Kring’s Point Extension Road. We have surface treated Schneider Road, Spies Road, Newman Road and Berry Boulevard. This process will save the driving surface for several years to come. The road sand and salt are fully stocked so our men can keep the town roads as safe as possible during the long winter months.
The good people of the town of Alexandria have entrusted me with 207.4 lane miles of road. Be it winter or be it summer, the safety of the public has always been our main concern. We have nine full-time employees and one part-time employee, as needed, during the winter months. I find it necessary to keep this number of staff so I can safely perform the job I was elected to do.
At times our men are plowing 12 to 18 hours per day, then they are back into work early the next morning. If I lose two very important professional CDL drivers, it could possibly put my remaining drivers and the public in a very unsafe environment. God forbid we or a resident be injured because we just can’t keep up.
As these trying times continue, the Town Board wants to terminate two men in January: Maverick Hunter and Chris McCormick, who is a disabled Iraq War veteran. Both of these men are hard workers and important to the continued maintenance of our town roads. I do not agree to ruining these young men’s lives and their families’ lives.
We should take an unnecessary risk that could endanger the taxpayers of our town. It is not the right thing to do. It is not a money issue, as we have already saved our town a great deal of money. We will continue to work hard for you and make your roads safe to travel. All this being said, I surely hope that the ridicule and defamation resonating from this Town Board against its elected officials will someday come to a close.
Thank you all for the continued support over the years, and please do not forget to vote “No” on appointments and do not give up your rights. Our young men and women died in foreign wars protecting our rights as American citizens.
The writer is highway superintendent for the town of Alexandria.