Highway superintendent fights for employees’ jobs

Fighting for their jobs in the town of Alexandria

ALEXANDRIA, N.Y. (WWNY) - The town of Alexandria board is looking to make cuts in this year’s budget.

Its sights are now set on the town highway department.

Now, a new letter from highway superintendent Mike Tibbles urges the board not to lay off some of his staff as well.

In the letter, Tibbles says the town board wants to terminate two of his men in January.

The board would replace those full-time positions with 2 part-time jobs.

“I’d like to keep my men and not lose the two guys because I believe it could cause a possible very unsafe situation in the middle of the winter,” Tibbles said.

Town of Alexandria Highway Department
Town of Alexandria Highway Department (Source: WWNY)

Tibbles also dropped off a second, longer letter to the town office addressed to town board members.

Town supervisor Brent Sweet says he looked over that letter and understands why Tibbles may be frustrated.

But the board is trying to save the town money.

“Cutting two positions full time frees up $160,000, which you hire part timers to take that place, you have a net savings of $115,000,” Sweet said.

They will use the 115,000 to do more road improvements in the town.

Sweet says the highway department’s budgets are about 50 percent sales tax, which the board expects to be lower this upcoming quarter, even during peak tourism season.

The highway department would go from nine to seven full-time workers.

That’s the same number it had when Tibbles was elected.

Tibbles, however, says losing two drivers is going to hurt in the long haul.

“I will fight for my men, I have too,” Tibbles said. “My men and the community. And I will cut back where I have to monetarily to subsidize that.”

Tibbles and Sweet both say they would sit down to talk about this further when the sales tax numbers come in.

The town expects to have the report by next Thursday.

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