ELIZABETHTOWN - Essex County DPW superintendent Fred Buck will retire at the end of 2009, giving way for his deputy, Anthony LaVigne, to succeed him.
The Essex County Board of Supervisors voted on a resolution Dec. 7 to appoint LaVigne as DPW superintendent effective Jan. 1, 2010.
The resolution was met with some opposition, however, as some supervisors made a last-ditch effort to trim the salary of the position.
As part of the resolution, LaVigne was set to make an annual salary of $85,640 as superintendent; the same salary Buck was allotted in 2009.
"I support Tony one hundred percent. I think that he has the ability and the experience, and he will be an excellent candidate for Essex County," said Lewis Supervisor David Blades. "What I do not support is the salary."
Blades suggested the salary be reduced to $80,000, arguing neither of the appointments to department heads for Real Property and Personnel received the outgoing salary of their predecessors.
St. Armand Supervisor Joyce Morency argued that the higher salary was justified, however, noting that LaVigne has been working as second-in-command of the DPW for the better part of two decades.
"If we were going out to look for someone else they wouldn't know dittily squat about any town or any roads or any jail in Essex County," Morency said. "You have a man here that knows every pot hole in Essex County on county roads in every town. The fact that he has all this knowledge and he has earned it while working for us I think he is entitled to this amount of money."
Elizabethtown Supervisor Noel Merrihew argued in favor of the amendment, noting that it would be consistent with the salaries granted to the other incoming department heads, both of whom had several years of prior experience.