Highway Department Merger Off the Table

Petrone, Naughton reach agreement on savings, operations.

Supervisor Frank Petrone withdrew his call for a governmental reorganization that would have abolished the elective office of highway superintendent, saying agreements had been reached on other ways to achieve savings.

After a meeting with Highway Superintendent William Naughton, Councilman Eugene Cook, Town Attorney John Leo, Interim Comptroller Andrew Persich and Director of General Services Thom Boccard, Petrone said, the meeting had found how, "through cooperation and sharing, the Town could realize significant savings in the areas of maintaining Town roads and Town facilities without changing the organizational structure of Town departments.

"Among the areas identified were centralizing equipment repair, cross utilizing facilities, integrating technology and coordinating back office functions. Teams will begin meeting next week to identify specific programs and savings. There was agreement that the departments can and will move forward together to achieve the similar goals of providing services most efficiently and economically to Town residents.

"In light of the progress at this meeting and the desire to move forward together, Supervisor Petrone has withdrawn his call of a special Town Board meeting to consider governmental reorganization measures. We look forward to continued progress in this important area of Town government.”

Petrone and Council members Mark Cuthbertson and Susan Berland had proposed a referendum that would have turned Naughton's position into an appointive job and merged the highway department into a Department of Public Works. A public hearing Tuesday brought out scores of residents, nearly all of whom opposed to shift to an appointive position.

No further information was immediately available.

JSC August 18, 2012 at 01:45 PM
One wonders why these new efficiencies couldn't have been found before the ill-fated resolution was made up? Doesn't government know how to bring dept's together for budgetary meetings to find ways to save money without automatically jumping into the "let's take away an elected position and form a new dept" mode? "Act first, think about the ramifications later" seems to be the way Petrone likes to govern. We do have to get rid of him - the town deserves better.
Laura August 19, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Would it not be great To do you want? The taxpayers the taxes. The Town of Huntington spend the money anyway they want. No accountability to us. That is why it so important to go to town hall. We need to let them know. If we agree or disagree with them. Laura
Babaloo August 21, 2012 at 11:42 AM
I disagree. The elected officials are accountable to us, the voter. Every two years, half of the board is up for reelection. If you feel they are not doing the job, don't vote for them. If you don't like the choice, get involved with your preferred political party and have a say in who gets nominated.
photomike1 September 14, 2012 at 07:20 AM
naughton is not accountable to anyone just ask him. this was a power play. because naughton wont play nice with the board for the last 15 yrs. this about who gets to hire their freinds & political favors & who controls the $. it began when m cuthberson asked naughton why he spent $3 million to clear 3" of snow. consolidation saves $. you need less Facilities, vehicles, employees, which means less health & pension costs less supervisory staff ( the hway dept has a foreman for every 6 workers & 1 supervisor for10 foreman & has 4 supervisors for those 3 supervisors). you'd have less patronage & political favors. also the entire workforce would b called for snow plowing not just the hwy dept. the hwy dept has its own phone system & it took months till it was compatable with the system at town hall. & has the $1 million/yr gps contract made anyone more efficient. the waste just keeps growing. conversely if the board appoints a public works director they would have qualifcations & expeirence & be vetted, not a landscapper who has friends & money to get him elected & the director won't be able to give out contracts to freinds or as political favors.just ask yourself why can't my kid get a job there unless they know the right people or are afilliated with the right party.
photomike1 September 14, 2012 at 07:33 AM
i would say naughton is the problem here. he wants it his way or the hwy. he has sued the board twice costing the taxpayers money and services. he appoints his family to high paying positions, he gives contracts out as political favors. he leans on his employees to make contributions to his re-election. he wasted money on poor equipment. he spent tax money because he had to have his own phone system (ego)for the dept instead of using what every other dept was using. naughton does not know the word cooperation unless you are doing it his way. and by the way this plan has been going back and forth for twenty years.


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