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Stephen Gardner Enters Yorktown Highway Superintendent Race

The life-long Yorktown resident previously ran unsuccessfully in 2009 against current highway superintendent Eric DiBartolo.

Stephen Gardner, a life-long Yorktown resident, has announced his run for the position of highway superintendent.

The position is being vacated by current Highway Superintendent Eric DiBartolo, who has held his position since being elected in 1996. DiBartolo has said numerous times he would not be seeking re-election this year.

Gardner previously ran an unsuccessful campaign in 2009 when DiBartolo was endorsed by both the Republican and Democratic committees. Gardner, a Democrat, along with Greg Bernard, a Republican, continued their highway bid as write-in candidates in 2009, but lost to DiBartolo.

"I've always had my mind on running," said Gardner, who first threw his hat in the ring 18 years ago when he was interviewed by the parties, but he didn't launch a campaign.

Gardner, a 1978 Yorktown High School graduate, has had a landscaping and excavating business for 33 years. He has done heavy construction, road work, drainage and paving. He has worked as a private contractor snowplowing Yorktown roads from 1978 to 1996 under five highway superintendents. 

"I have a great love for the town of Yorktown," he said. "I have roots in the town and want to give back to my community. Yorktown is a great place and I've had a lot of good memories and experiences here."

Garder said he is in favor of term limits for elected officials and said he thinks 12 years should be the maximum amount of time an official should be in office.

"There [are] a lot of people who would like to get politically involved and when those offices are occupied for too long, it's not giving others a chance to get in," he said. 

When a group of Yorktown residents rallied last year to eliminate the position of elected highway superintendent and transfer that function to a newly created Department of Public Works (DPW), Gardner was opposed to that. He said he thinks the highway superintendent position should remain an elected position.

"If a person is not doing a good job, he can be elected out," Gardner said. 

If he is elected to office, Gardner said he has several goals he'd like to achieve, including catching up on the cutting of dead and dangerous trees over the roads, update crew equipment, improve sight distances at intersections and curbs, delineate the the darker and rural roads with reflectors. 

He said he would like to experiment with jet blowers and rotary snow brooms – equipment used mainly in airports. 

"Some people might laugh at me and say I'm nuts, but I would like to try to use these trucks on roads that could permit the use of it and just see how it works," Gardner said. "You're not doing damage to the asphalt, it's not scraping and digging up the pavement which does happen with conventional plowing. By using these jet blowers and rotary brooms, you can also cut down on the amount of chemical and the amount of salt that's used on the roadways." 

Gardner said he has not been approached by Yorktown Democratic Party committee members, but by announcing his intentions to run, he wants voters to keep him on their radar. He said he also hopes he would get the Democratic Party endorsement.

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Active Yorktowner February 11, 2013 at 06:56 PM
Saint Eric could do no wrong, (although there have been many many instances of wrong being documented...think to the state comptrollers office report), and what qualifications did he have when he was first elected, aside from being a lifelong resident of Yorktown? Sound familiar? Where was this criticism of Steve 4 years ago...oh right, nobody believed Eric would lose so why bother. Now all of a sudden Saint Eric (by the way, there is an opening in the Vatican, maybe he should apply) is no longer going to be Highway Sup so everyone is suddenly looking at qualifications, personality, personal life and apperances. This is the reason I, as someone in Yorktown for many many years who has been approached to run for office a few times always says no...This town focuses on the negatives and not the positives. I refuse to put myself and my family through that. I'm sure many feel the same way and we lose potentially good people. Good Luck Steve, although maybe we should have a professional DPW and he can interview for that like a regular job instead of the BS running for a position here.
Francis T McVetty February 11, 2013 at 07:11 PM
The one thing that you can say about Eric DiBartolo is that he gets the job done!!! People can rant and rave about all sorts of thing about him. Nothing has come of those accusations, NOTHING. The personal vendetta against him by some in the Yorktown government, has cost US, the taxpayers, hundreds of thousands of dollars, I don't know much about Mr Gardner but will be looking very carefully at the next candidate. The next highway supervisor will have big boots to fill!
Libra Son February 12, 2013 at 02:35 AM
I moved from Yorktown in 1994 but would go vback occasionally to visit my mother and other friends, and I can say the roads were never better than when Eric was Supv. These allegations against him may or may not be true, but I see the way democrats go about destroying people via sexual allegations (Herman Cain comes to mind, Obama's Senate opponent Bob Ryan in 2006 also); so I put nothing past small town democrats either.
anthony norcia February 18, 2013 at 12:42 PM
Putting politics and all the other stuff aside, Steve has been doing this kind of work since i knew him. He is more than qualified to handle the job! And i wish him all the luck going forward.
J. Patrick Francois February 27, 2013 at 09:21 PM
My beliefs are that anyone who wants to run, should run. Let the voters read his/her qualifications and decide. Further, Republican/Democrat designation at this town office just devisive and wasteful. We all want the most productive and efficient town service possible, at the lowest possible (tax) cost.

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