Canton town board eyes moving highway super to appointed position
Friday, August 10, 2018 - 5:25 pm

By ADAM ATKINSON

CANTON -- The town board is seeking public input on changing the highway superintendent’s elected office to an appointed position.

The board will hold a special meeting Tuesday, Aug. 14 at 5 p.m. to set a public hearing on whether to place the proposition on the November ballot for voter approval in the fall election.

The public hearing will more than likely be held Sept. 12 said Town Supervisor Mary Ann Ashley last week. There is a Sept. 20 deadline for public hearings on ballot propositions for the coming election, Ashley said.

Current superintendent Terry Billings was recently re-elected to a four-year term. The change, if approved by voters, would take effect following the end of his current term three-and-a-half years from now, Ashley said.

“Terry Billings has done a wonderful job. He has been there 25 years,” said Ashley.

The supervisor said however, that the board is trying to consider the future and implement a multi-year planning approach to managing the town.

Under the current situation, the only qualification an individual needs to serve as highway superintendent is that they be a registered town voter.

The town board would like to ensure that the person filling the position in the future, should Billings retire, have relevant job experience. Re-establishing the position as an appointment would allow the board to consider candidates and job histories and, hopefully, pick from a pool of qualified candidates.