Should Highway Superintendent Be Elected Or Appointed?Posted: Updated:
Canton town highway superintendent. It's not exactly a white collar job, but someone has to do it. Terry Billings has done it 24 years. He has advice for whoever comes next.
“Every single day, they're going to find something different. There going to find a responsibility different. During the ice storm I slept three nights in my office,” said Billings.
Billings has been elected to seven successive terms. He has three years left on this one. After that, the town board is looking to make the post an appointed one. They want to put that proposal on the ballot.
“Our town council wants to give voters a choice as to whether we should have an appointed position or an elected position,” said Mary Ann Ashley, Canton town supervisor.
The only qualifications needed for this work now are to be a registered voter and village resident. The town council can demand more qualifications if they appoint someone. But not everyone thinks that's the best idea.
“I feel very strongly that the public has little to say sometimes in our government offices and I feel being an elected position for highway man is very important because the people get to speak,” said Linda Casserly, Canton resident:
Casserly made her viewpoint known at Wednesday night's town board meeting. Others had different opinions. Twenty-five years ago, voters defeated a proposal to make it an appointed job.
The town board had wanted to put this question on November's ballot. But a snafu in the timing of the public hearing has pushed that back. Now, November of next year is the earliest that voters could have a say on this important subject.