I’d like to remind everyone that the Road Commissioner, an elected position, and road foreman, a paid position hired by the Selectboard, are two separate, independent positions.
For years, the same person has had both positions, causing confusion that these are, in fact, distinct positions. The job of the Road Commissioner, which is up for election, is to advise the Selectboard on road issues when asked. The Road Commissioner is not responsible for road maintenance. That is the responsibility of the road foreman.
There was a Letter to the Editor in the paper last week suggesting that the Road Commissioner is responsible for repairing roads in natural disasters. This is not the case. This is the job of the road foreman, which is not up for election and has never been up for election.
Even if a new Road Commissioner is elected, the current road foreman will retain his job, and nothing about his position maintaining the roads will change. All that could change is that there is another voice that can advise the Selectboard on roads in addition to the road foreman.
In sum: the job of the Road Commissioner is only to advise. Here’s the description from the Secretary of State: “Road Commissioners can be elected or appointed. Has no independent authority, but can assist the Selectboard in overseeing town highways at the request of the board. Should have experience with town highways and be a good communicator. 17 V.S.A. § 2646(16); 17 V.S.A. § 2651”
I am endorsing Danny Taylor for Athens Road Commissioner and Athens Selectboard. With his experience in roads, he is the best choice for Athens.
Thank you for your time,