Letter: Highway superintendent isn’t hiding

myer squareAt the inception of my campaign in 2011, I vowed never to insult, attack or bring negativity about my opponent into the media. Mr. Chlud and the Democratic Party that endorsed him, along with the citizens that supported him, honored this unspoken agreement between us. I will maintain the same this election with Mr. Mayone and ask that he and others follows suit.

With that being said, I will address the statements made by Mr. Steven J. Guerin in the Aug. 8, 2013 edition of Saugerties Times.

Mr. Guerin, I am hiding nothing from you or the public I serve. As of Aug. 7, 2013 all 14 FOIL [freedom of information law] requests have been answered. I did in fact ask the town attorney if I was obligated to answer these requests and we did in fact ask for a time extension for the following reason. Within the 14 FOIL requests presented to myself and the accounting department, there were a total of 79 questions to be answered. The freedom of information law is for the procurement of existing public documents. When utilizing this law, specific documents are referred to and requested. Of the 79 questions contained within the FOILs, only one specific document was requested. To answer the FOILs requested, it required the creation of new documents (the answers to the questions). Numerous hours were spent at the taxpayers’ expense interpreting the questions presented, compiling the data needed to answer said questions and responding to each question individually. It wasn’t a matter of locating a specific document and turning it over to the party requesting said document.

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Yes, Mr. Guerin, I am very proud of my record since taking office in 2012. I divide my time running the Highway Department and the FEMA Major Projects Department as needed on a daily basis. Much time is spent in the office as you say, managing a total of 7.4 million dollars for both departments that the taxpayers in the Town of Saugerties have entrusted me to oversee on their behalf. Time is spent in the office as well as equal time in the field overseeing the crews that I manage. Stop by and say hi sometime, I am still there most nights until 5 or later, long after everyone else has gone home for the day. And yes, I am in that dreaded office overseeing the substantial investment the taxpayers have made through their tax dollars.

Mr. Guerin, referring to your observation that I spend more time in the office than past superintendents, you state, “However it should be noted that this is a management style that former highway superintendents did not practice as a normal course of busines.” What you conveniently leave out is the fact that I am also overseeing a second department, that being the FEMA Major Projects Department. The past highway superintendents didn’t have the added responsibilities of this department when they were in office.

In closing, your statement referring to me as “hired help” couldn’t be a more truthful statement and I sincerely thank you for the compliment. Although elected, that never promotes me or any other elected official to a level above the people that voted us into office. I took an oath and am very proud to serve you sir and all the taxpayers in the town of Saugerties. Thank you for taking a minute to point that out. Elected officials are, in fact, the “hired help” of the voting populace.

Douglas F. Myer
Superintendent of highways

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