Race for highway superintendent heats up

NORTH CREEK This has been a difficult year for the Town of Johnsburg Highway Department. Following this summers sudden resignation of former highway superintendent, Curtis Richards, the department has been plagued by rumors, a lack of leadership, and considerable speculation about its future. This week two area men, Fred Comstock and Roger Mosher, have formally stepped forward with the intent of turning things around for the department while properly managing the largest portion of Johnsburgs annual budget. Due to the nature of the vacancy, the winner of this election will be fulfilling the remainder of Richards term, and face a second election in November of 2009. Comstock, 42, of Garnet Lake, recently secured the Republican Party nomination for highway superintendent. The nomination was unanimous, with one abstention. Mosher, 60, of Johnsburg, will be facing Comstock as an Independent candidate running on the Unity Party ticket. While this is Comstocks first bid for the position, he remains confident that with a little guidance, the department could achieve all of its goals. He currently works for the Highway Department, after being hired full time in April of this year. I think things are already starting to get into shape, Comstock said. Youve got a good bunch of guys over there. They know how to do their job somebody just needs to treat them with respect. Comstock also serves as the chief of the Garnet Lake Volunteer Fire Department and has worked with heavy equipment during his professional career in the construction industry. He hopes to capitalize on his insiders view of the department and its needs. I work there and I know whats involved in it, Comstock said. See RACE, page 7 Race From page 1 The men in the department have told me that they want me there too. I chose to make Johnsburg my home and you cant find a better place to live, he added. We just want to get out there and do our jobs for the people of this town. If elected, he plans to be a working superintendent and hopes to strengthen the relationship between the town and the department, similar to what hes accomplished as a local fire chief. Budgetary control and personnel management also remain high on his list of priorities. I want the Highway Department employees to take pride in their town and their work, he concluded. The 2008 November election will not be Roger Moshers first bid for the Highway Superintendent position. He has run nearly every two years and remains confident that his unique solutions will bring relief to the financially strained taxpayers of Johnsburg. I see a lot of waste in the town, Mosher said. Our roads need improvement, the way things are done in the town needs improvement. Among other things, Mosher hopes to save the town money by exploiting his skills as a diesel mechanic, as a manager, and through his experience with heavy equipment. Ive operated equipment, and maintained equipment all my life, he added. While Mosher has not previously worked in the Highway Department, he feels that his prior experiences, including a five-year term on the Johnsburg School Board, will give him a decisive edge in the election. Theres a lot of room for improvement in the town, Mosher noted. The biggest area I see is in finances. For example, I can make the vehicles last longer because I have the skills to repair diesel engines. We wouldnt have to spend money to send them out for repair and I could train other men how to do it too. Like Comstock, he believes the position should be filled by an individual that is willing to lead as a hands-on manager. Youll get more out of the men if you can go out in the garage, you have some knowledge, and you understand their working conditions, he said. Mosher hopes to explore unique ways for the Highway Department to do more in the town such as working at the landfill and doing work for the Johnsburg Water District. I would have no problem working with the men, Mosher concluded. I know how to treat people and I think they would support me, especially this year. I believe that Im much more qualified than my opponent and I would like to see us debate. Whether the candidates will face each other in a debate remains a question. Either way, the voters will decide the future of the Town of Johnsburg Highway Department in the general election slated for Nov. 4.

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