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Public Works Effort Picks Up Steam in Yorktown

YORKTOWN, N.Y. - Five former Yorktown supervisors have joined an effort to hold a townwide referendum in November on replacing the elected highway superintendent position with a Department of Public Works.

To start the process, former chief executive Aaron Bock requested a meeting between the town board and the Yorktown Citizens for a DPW.

"We strongly believe that before voters are asked to decide whether or not they want a DPW, they should understand what they're being asked to vote on," Bock said in an appearance before the town board on Tuesday night. "So the sooner the town board votes to put the DPW question up for a referendum vote, the sooner we can start disseminating information and start the dialogue."

More than 160 residents have signed a petition calling for a referendum. Former supervisors Susan Siegel, Linda Cooper, Al Capellini and Nancy Elliott also reportedly support the formation of a DPW, as does a former highway superintendent. Siegel is also a member of Yorktown Citizens for a DPW.

"These officials had to work with, and around, a system of independent, uncoordinated and duplicative departments on a daily basis," Bock said. "They saw the problems firsthand. That's why they support a DPW: a single, consolidated, coordinated Public Works Department headed by a qualified professional engineer."

The push for a DPW is motivated by cost savings and is not directed at the performance of Highway Superintendent Eric DiBartolo, who has not commented publicly on the proposal, Yorktown Citizens for a DPW has said.

The town board would "look at it," current Supervisor Michael Grace said, noting it was likely a future work session would be dedicated to the DPW issue.

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