Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | News | Local News | Contact Us | Home RSS

ELECTION: 4 up for town of Jay highway superintendent

November 3, 2017
By AARON CERBONE - For the News ( , Lake Placid News

Residents of the town of Jay will have an unusually high number of potential highway superintendents to choose from for election day on Nov. 7 .

These candidates range from highway employees stepping into the political arena to current highway deputy superintendents looking for a higher position to implement their plans. Whoever is elected will be responsible for 140 miles of lane road and 40 miles of dirt road within the town as well as the sidewalks, sewer and water systems.


Article Photos

Bill Lincoln

Lifelong Jay resident Bill Lincoln (who shares his name with the current superintendent) said he is running for the position because he said maintenance of roads, particularly the 40 miles of dirt ones, is not happening often enough.

Running on the People's line, Lincoln said he would keep dirt roads from washing out by having a road grader smooth them out, crown the road and create ditches for water irrigation, resulting in longer lasting roads. The grading, which Lincoln said needs to happen twice a year, only happens yearly.

"Some of it is shared services," Lincoln said. "They're sending two of our best trucks away all summer hauling blacktop for other people."

Lincoln said he would reduce this sharing to focus on Jay's roads.


Erin Himmel

Erin Himmel, 36, may be new to politics but he certainly is not new to roads. An employee of the highway department for 16 years, the registered Republican running on the independent "Fair Deal" line knows what it takes to keep the roads clear, smooth and safe.

Public service is a large part of Himmel's life. He has been a volunteer fireman for 19 years, 10 of which he has been an assistant chief and for seven years he has volunteered with the AuSable Forks ambulance service with two years as assistant chief and three years as chief . During his previous work as deputy highway superintendent under superintendents John Dockum and Tom Murphy Himmel said his purchase of a backhoe for the department saved $40,000

Though department budget cuts have been made in recent years, he wants to create an equipment replacement plan with the town board to make sure the department is able to complete its job without breakdowns or slowed work due to old or failing equipment.

Himmel also said he would prioritize attention on tree trimming and cutting for road safety.

"There should be no reason for a school bus or truck to travel down the center of a road because the brush is hanging too far out into the road," Himmel wrote in his candidate profile.

Kevin Zaumetzer

Current highway deputy superintendent running on the Democrat and Cowboy party Kevin Zaumetzer said he puts safety. "first and foremost" when deciding what to work on.

One unsafe area Zaumetzer plans to resolve is at the intersection behind the Grand Union where the new Rolling Mill Bridge was constructed.

"When you are coming out of that intersection you can not see the traffic that's coming from Main St. toward Rolling Mill Bridge; it's impossible," Zaumetzer said. "By the time you get your vehicle out you are in the other lane of traffic."

Zaumetzer said he would turn that intersection into a three-way stop to halt through traffic traveling past a blind turn. This change is a quarter of his four-part master plan if elected, including fixing old culverts and repairing around 1,000 feet of sidewalk the town is responsible for.

The department has $15,000 in its budget for sidewalk repair but with repairs costing $132 per yard he will need to find funding for the project. Zaumetzer's master plan says he will work with the town board to secure $300,000 of infrastructure repair grant money received from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Zaumetzer also said two bank slides on Carey Road, caused by hurricane Irene, are sliding toward the brook and threaten the safety and stability of the road. He has been advised by the Essex County Soil and Water Department which said there are several options including shifting the road 40 feet inland.

Zaumetzer said he wants to improve on the highway work already being done, adressing several key issues he says will improve safety in the town.

"I want to step up, pick up his [Lincoln's] reins and move forward with the ideas that I have," Zaumetzer said.

John "Sleepy" Pulsifer

John "Sleepy" Pulsifer is running on the Republican line but could not be reached as of press time.



I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web