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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, March 17, 2011

Board won’t appoint
Voters will choose next highway super

By Anne Hayden

GUILDERLAND — Todd Gifford, Guilderland’s long-term highway superintendent, retired on Dec. 31, but, after interviewing 12 applicants, the town board has decided to wait until November elections to fill the post.

“I recommended that perhaps the best thing to do is wait, have the parties select candidates, and let the people vote in November,” Supervisor Kenneth Runion said this week.

Runion said the town would save $70,000 by waiting until Jan. 1, 2012 to officially fill the highway superintendent position.

“The highway department is running very smoothly without a superintendent right now,” said Runion. Two foremen — Steve Oliver and Bob Haver — have been heading the crews.

Republican Councilman Warren Redlich told The Enterprise this week that the bi-partisan board “just couldn’t agree” on who to appoint. Gifford, a Republican, was elected when the town government was dominated by Republicans. The town board now has three Democrats, including the supervisor, and two Republicans.

“It was very difficult to differentiate, because all the candidates were very qualified,” Runion said.

At a meeting on Tuesday, the town board voted unanimously to create a deputy highway superintendent position in the interim. The deputy would have all the powers of the superintendent in the absence of an appointment.

“I see no desperate need for the board to appoint a highway superintendent at this time,” said Runion. He said that Gifford had agreed to consult with the department in an advisory capacity, as needed.

At the next town board meeting, on April 5, Runion will recommend that Oliver be appointed as the deputy superintendent.

“He’s been the lead foreman in the department so far,” said Runion, who said he expects that the political parties will choose their November candidates for the position from the pool of current applicants.

“I think under the circumstances this is a good decision,” Redlich concluded. “I think we all agreed to do what is probably the right thing.”

Other business

At the meeting on Tuesday, the board voted unanimously to:

— Authorize the supervisor to sign a Stormwater Management System Maintenance and Easement Agreement with The New York Independent System Operator, Inc.;

— Authorize the supervisor to submit a grant application to the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation for partial funding of the town’s Household Hazardous Waste Day program;

— Retain Cooper, Erving, and Savage, with Craig Norman, Esq., of counsel, to handle tax assessment cases; and

— Award a bid for water filtration granulated reactivated carbon for 2011 and 2012.

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