The Town of Ossining will host a public hearing at tonight's board meeting regarding a potential change in the municipal position of highway superintendent.
The position is currently filled through the town's election and is held now by Democrat Michael G. O'Connor, who was re-elected in November 2011 for a two-year term.
If voters pass a referendum being proposed by the board this year, the position will become an appointed one instead.
In a presentation given by the town board at a past town hall meeting, the town board said an appointed superintendent would undergo "a merit-based process."
In 2012, the salary allotted for the position was $89,536.
According to the presentation, with an appointed superintendent, "The Town could hire the most qualified & talented person for the job, regardless of political affiliation. Some exceptional candidates can not afford the time nor the expense of the election process."
In a Supervisor's Update by Susanne Donnelly , she wrote, "The Highway Superintendent controls a budget of $2.2 million: this responsibility should not be determined by a popularity contest, or because the election has been uncontested."
In addition to the town board's approval of an appointee, the presentation stated that candidates would be viewed by a hiring committee made up of board members, town administration and two residents of the unincorporated town.
Residents will have a chance to weigh in on the proposed referendum at tonight's 7:30 p.m. meeting to be held at the Birdsall/Fagan Police Court Facility, located at 86-88 Spring Street.
If the public votes in favor of the referendum this November, the town anticipates interviews for the position would begin in the summer and fall of 2013, with an appointment being made in January 2014, following the expiration of O'Connor's current term.
Will you attend tonight's public hearing to weigh in on the referendum? Are you for or against the change?
Click the .pdf to the right to view the town's full presentation on the issue.