DEKALB Town Highway Superintendent Connor J. Burt is resigning from his town job effective March 21 to devote more time to his private excavation and contracting business.
I plan on expanding my own business, Mr. Burt said. Its not fair to the town for me to be pulled in too many directions.
Mr. Burt ran unopposed for the two-year seat in November. He has held the full-time job since May 2007, when he was appointed to replace William Allen. Mr. Allen also retired before his term had expired.
Town Supervisor John M. Frary said the Town Council plans to appoint an interim highway superintendent at a special meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. March 10 at the Town Hall, 2907 County Route 17.
Applications will be accepted until Friday for the interim appointment, which takes effect March 24 and expires Dec. 31. The seat will be up for election again in November to fill the remaining year on Mr. Burts term.
The annual salary is roughly $40,000, and town residency is a requirement.
Mr. Frary said Town Councilman Jody C. Hamilton has expressed interest in the position, which has been advertised for more than a week in the Watertown Daily Times. Mr. Hamilton is Mr. Burts uncle and recently retired as a state corrections officer.
He has said that he may be interested, Mr. Frary said. On March 7 we will see how many others may be interested.
Mr. Burt said since he will expand his business, CJ Burt Contractors Inc., he wont be able to juggle both roles. He said March was a suitable time to resign because the majority of winter work is over and spring road work will just be starting.
This will give the new person time to get their feet planted before the road-building season, he said.
Mr. Frary said he felt Mr. Burt was making the right decision, given his circumstances. He had to make a choice. He realized he couldnt do justice to both, he said. To me, hes doing the right thing.
In a letter to the editor of the Daily Courier-Observer, town resident Elia Filippi said hes concerned the highway superintendent position is becoming a part-time patronage job.
Perhaps the position should be a legitimately structured, professional job, with a real job description and higher pay, which falls into a defined and recognized chain of command, he wrote.