TOWN OF ALEXANDRIA, N.Y. (WWNY) - Should two elected positions in the town of Alexandria become appointed? The town board says making the change would save money, but those opposed say it takes away their right to decide.
Some people say it is taking away their right to vote while others say it will help to save money for the taxpayers.
The town board is putting forth two propositions on Election Day that would change the highway superintendent and the town clerk into appointed positions - something town Supervisor Brent Sweet says will help the town in the long run.
“We see in both positions how we can save the taxpayers dollars by doing this,” he said.
Along with Sweet, board member Sandra Caputo, who was opposed at first to taking away the right to vote, says she sees now why the town should vote yes because of how important these two positions are.
“I think it’s the best for the taxpayers, for the positions themselves. They don’t have to worry about if they are upsetting someone or making them mad, they just have to do their jobs,” she said.
Mike Tibbles is the current highway superintendent. He has worked for the department for 26 years and says he was shocked to hear about the proposed switch
“Personally, it’s kind of a kick in the backside. It hurts. I believe the public should be able to vote. I don’t believe that five people alone should make the decision for the whole town,” he said.
As for the clerk’s position, it’s currently held by Jessy Hudon, who took a nearly two month leave of absence last year for health and personal reasons.
Town officials said they had to cut the clerk’s office hours and hire outside help.
We asked Hudon what she thought about having her position go from elected to appointed.
In a statement, she said:
“I feel an appointed person will remove an important check and balance off the town board’s power. The independence of this office is important and should be preserved.”
It’s something that town voters can decide for themselves on Election Day in November.