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Germantown to hold special election to decide how to pick highway superintendent

Jun 14, 2021 5:45 am

Emilia Teasdale is reporting for The Columbia Paper voters in Germantown will go to the polls in a special election, June 19, to decide if the elected position of Highway Superintendent should become an appointed Superintendent of Department of Public Works position. The change was made by local law, but it is subject to a mandatory referendum. If the law is approved by voters, the change will take effect on January 1. According to the Germantown Board, more than 95 towns across that state have made this change from elected to appointed highway superintendents. In Columbia County, Austerlitz and Taghkanic held a special elections in May on the issue. In Austerlitz, at a May 25 special election, a similar proposition was voted down. In Taghkanic, the measure was approved on a vote of 79 to 55. The Germantown board said in a statement, “We believe that this is an important change for Germantown to give taxpayers the type of service and accountability they deserve. Under existing law, an elected superintendent need only be 18 and an elector of the town to run for election. There is no requirement that they have experience, general knowledge of the position or that they must work at all." The position currently pays $61,000 a year with benefits. Read more in The Columbia Paper.