- Editor's Note: The following letter to the editor was submitted by Yorktown resident Rosalind Kliban-Weis. If you'd like to submit your own Letter to the Editor, email email@example.com.
It’s time some members of the Town Board, and members of the “Eric DiBartolo Fan Club” stopped making the issue an “Eric DiBartolo” issue.
It is exasperating to hear the Supervisor and members of the Board talk about the wonderful working relationship they have with current Highway Superintendent Eric DiBartolo as if he will be on the job well into the future.
They need to realize that he will not be on the job after December 31, 2013 and stop using his job performance as a reason to discredit a DPW. They need to accept that Mr. DiBartolo has said publicly, not once, but twice, that he does not plan to run for another term.
I take the man at his word and so should the Board.
He didn’t say, “I’m thinking about it,” or “maybe.” He said, “No.” Twice. So please, let’s move on.
The DPW issue is about how the Town can deliver services to its residents more efficiently, eliminate waste and duplication and save money. It’s not about Mr. DiBartolo. What is ironic, is that the same people who praised the concept of consolidation – when it was done by Mr. DiBartolo – are now opposed to consolidation because Mr. DiBartolo won’t be around to be in charge of it. Does what is considered to be a good idea change simply when someone else might be doing the job?
The only reason the DPW plan calls for the elimination of the elected highway superintendent position is because the success of a DPW depends on the Town Board being able to appoint a qualified person to head the department and making sure that the person is accountable – on a daily basis – to the Board.
On January 1, 2014 Yorktown deserves the best qualified person to be on the job. Someone who is totally prepared to take on the challenges facing Yorktown, especially in these difficult economic times. Someone who has the expertise to do the job starting on day one and not spend time learning on the job. An elected highway superintendent is accountable only to the voters – and only once every four years—and only if voters have a choice of candidates, something that hasn’t happened since the 1995 election.
The head of a DPW would be accountable to the Supervisor and Town Board. All other department supervisors are appointed by the Board and responsible to the Board. This system works well and the voters of Yorktown should be given the opportunity to decide if it should be expanded to include a DPW.
If you need more proof that the DPW issue isn’t about Mr. DiBartolo, look at the former supervisors who support a DPW. Three of the five supervisors were in office before Mr. DiBartolo became highway superintendent and had no relationship with him. A fourth supervisor is on record as having supported a DPW in 1976 when Mr. DiBartolo was still in school.
The DPW issue isn’t about Mr. DiBartolo.
It’s about efficiency and saving money. Regardless of one’s opinion about Mr. DiBartolo and the job he’s done as highway superintendent, it’s time to stop talking about Mr. DiBartolo and move forward to plan for a post-DiBartolo era. Mr. DiBartolo’s term will be ending on December 31, 2013. I wish him the best in his new career.
On January 1, 2014, a new era begins. Yorktown will have either a new elected highway superintendent or an appointed DPW commissioner, depending on:
- Whether Town Board allows us to vote in a DPW referendum, and
- If the referendum is allowed to take place, whether voters support the change to a DPW.
Enough of the false arguments and red herrings. It’s time we dealt with the truth.