Huntington to Consider Highway Department Changes

July 25, 2012

The Huntington Town board at its monthly meeting Tuesday night added to the agenda three late starter resolutions that proposed to set three separate public hearings for Aug. 14 regarding the town highway department. 

The public hearings — each was approved, 3-2 — will consider whether to eliminate the elected highway superintendent post and make it an appointed position, whether to eliminate the general services department, and whether to create a department of public works. 

A referendum on eliminating the elected highway superintendent position and making it an appointed position would be put to voters in November. If approved the changes would go into effect Jan. 1, 2014, which is after the current term of Highway Superintendent William Naughton expires. 

Huntington officials said the changes would allow for consolidation, better management of equipment and personnel, and the elimination of redundancies. 

Board members Mark Mayoka, a Republican, and Gene Cook, an Independence Party member, both voted against adding the resolutions to the agenda at the last minute and for scheduling the public hearings.

Town Supervisor Frank Petrone and town board members Mark Cuthbertson and Susan Berland, all Democrats, were the yes votes.

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