The Knox highway guys and I have done a fantastic job

To the Editor:

I am writing to Knox residents.

My name is Matthew Schanz and I am your current Knox highway superintendent, running this November to maintain my position. For obvious COVID reasons, I will not be going door to door to introduce myself to those of you who do not already know me but I did want to introduce myself with this letter.

In September of 2019, the then-superintendent, Gary Salisbury, retired suddenly and the Knox Town Board subsequently appointed me to fill his position. Prior to my appointment, I served under Gary as the deputy superintendent and have worked in the Knox highway department for over 16 years.

I had the pleasure of working with Gary Salisbury, by all accounts an excellent superintendent, for 15 years and learned a great deal from him. He has more than prepared me for the job of highway superintendent and I am grateful to him for doing so.

I was born and raised in Knox and consider it a beautiful place to live. I am happy to serve the residents of this great town.

Over the past seven months, in the shadow of COVID-19’s financial restrictions, I have had to learn quickly to manage spending, and work with the town board to maintain much-needed services, fleet vehicles, and equipment without placing any strains on our budget.

In hindsight, I believe we have done a fantastic job.

We have been able to rotate our fleet by purchasing a new tandem plow truck to replace a worn-out one with a bad motor; purchased two new garbage containers to serve our transfer station; built for less than $2,000 a cold patch trailer from an old camper frame and surplus sander to repair potholes; purchased a cold planer to cut and repair road damage; and paved and chip-sealed Street Road, chip-sealed Sturgis Road, paved Mountain View Road, and Reservoir Road — all while maintaining appropriate budget balances.

The highway employees and I were called upon to pave the walking path in the park, help with the installation of the LED [light-emitting diode] lights, paved the new egress at the transfer station, and various town-wide projects, saving taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars from outsourcing work.

All the while, the highway guys and I made certain to attend to our usual projects, including ditching, cutting trees, and grading and fixing roads.

Perhaps what I’ve enjoyed most, however, is working with the residents and helping them solve highway-related problems. Some of you have come up with some real doozies but rest assured that the highway employees and I are up for the challenge.

We have a great group of employees at the highway garage and I look forward to working with them for many years to come.

Not too long ago, a friend of mine indicated that I didn’t have to write a letter or campaign because I was running unopposed but I disagree. Residents have a right to know who represents them locally regardless of whether or not they are being opposed and I wanted to make certain that Knox residents knew exactly who they were voting for, my qualifications, and what is expected of me.

Going forward, with the help of the highway employees, I will continue to make sure our roads are clean, safe, clear, and properly maintained. I will make certain to account for monies spent and will continue to help improve facilities and services to Knox residents.

On Election Day this Nov. 3 I am asking for your vote. It’s a request I do not take lightly and I thank you all for your support.

Matthew Schanz


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