Mansfield Residents Question 

Highway Superintendent’s Performance

By Jann Wiswall

More than a dozen Mansfield residents attended the Monday, March 18, meeting of the Mansfield Board of Directors to express their concerns about the job performance of the Town of Mansfield’s Highway Superintendent.

John Barry, who took on the role of spokesperson for the residents, had a long list of questions he posed to the Board. Most questions related to the perception that the Superintendent, who was elected for a second term in 2011, has not been performing his job. Barry asked pointed questions about the Superintendent’s salary, benefits and other information that is in the public record of elected officials. He also asked specifics about how the job is getting done, who is responsible for filing state-required paperwork, how much overtime is being logged by department employees, and many other pointed questions.

Barry’s questions were answered by Town Supervisor Bob Keis, who explained that the Superintendent has complete autonomy and does not report to the board or any other entity except the citizens he serves. He said that he thinks that if the citizens are displeased with his performance, their best and, probably only, option is to vote for someone else in November.

Mansfield resident Michelle Jacobson asked about the possibility of changing the position to an appointed one. Keis responded that that would have to be put to a vote in a referendum.

Keis also noted that the job of keeping Mansfield’s roads plowed is being done, and credited the hard work of Deputy Superintendent Brad Hurley for dealing with many of the issues related to making the Town whole after the Highway Garage fire in October. He said he, personally, hopes that Hurley will run for the Superintendent’s position in November.

Highway Building Contracts Awarded

In other business, the Board completed several tasks that were on the evening’s agenda. The first was to award bids for construction of the new 60’ x 180’ Town Highway Building. The low bids for the following items were accepted by the board:

Pre-engineered Metal Building and Foundation: Kirst Construction won the contract with a bid of $305,400. In addition, Kirst will provide and install a manual overhead hoist at a cost of $8,400. The Town’s Highway Department staff will do the excavation.

Concrete Slab: Kirst Construction also had the low bid to pour the floor slab for $74,900.

Concrete (material only): This contract went to Superior Concrete for $90.75/cubic foot. Superior also provided quotes for additives that may or may not be needed depending on when the slab is poured.

Overhead Garage Doors: Overhead Door Company of Jamestown won the contract for supply and installation of eight (8) overhead doors for $23,900.

Local Law 2013 Approved

Local Law 2013 For Code Enforcement Administration, providing for enforcement of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, was approved after Mansfield Code Enforcement Officer Gil Wiswall answered the last of the board members’ questions to their satisfaction.

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