To the Editor:
As in the past, my campaign for re-election to the superintendent of highways position in the town of Canton will be quiet. The Canton voters know their candidates or study them to determine where they want to place their support, according to qualifications. The superintendents’ position is not so much political as it is about experience and devotion to the community.
Many of you know I started public service by enlisting in the Marine Corp. as a military policeman. Upon completion of my tour of duty I entered civilian law enforcement, again working for the people. These years provided the experience to deal with all members of the community fairly and, as well, to develop the self-discipline to conduct everyday life. I continued to serve in the Canton Fire Dept. for 10 years and support my local church. I have always worked a second job involving heavy equipment operation, farming, and trucking, all useful skills for the duties of the superintendent of highways.
In 1993 my town board came to me requesting I lead the Canton Highway Department. After serious consideration, I committed. Much thought should be given to this position, as it is laced with liabilities. From the moment you take the oath of office, any decisions you make you’re liable in some form. And you personally can suffer a lawsuit should the decision be wrong. And should you step outside of your highway budget, you can be held personally responsible for the monies expended.
The complexity of the office is tremendous. As the leader during the ice storm, I discovered the storm was the easy part. It was the paperwork and dealing with FEMA & SEMA afterward, co-coordinating clean-up, and recovery.
A personal policy I live with, and am proud of it, is as a supervisor you must surround yourself with the very best people. Your life will be easy, that is why I say the Canton Highway crew is one of the finest in our region. These eight men and I cover 101 miles of roadway.
In closing, the candidate for this office should not view it for its’ benefit package, but for serving the people and community. Now, as in the past, my salary will remain the same and without the benefit package, passing the savings back to the people and to highway repairs. Again, thank you for the many years of support and I hope to continue to serve another term.
Terry L. Billings