YORKTOWN, N.Y. – The Yorktown Daily Voice will head into the new year by counting down, in no particular order, the top 10 stories from 2012.
The next story is about the grassroots effort to eliminate the highway superintendent as an elected position and replace it with a department of public works. The group, Yorktown Citizens for a DPW, wanted a referendum to be placed on the November ballot and maintained that the move would save the town nearly $250,000 and give the town more control over its roads.
Both points were vehemently denied by Supervisor Michael Grace and Highway Superintendent Eric DiBartolo, who said the movement to remove him was personal.
DiBartolo publicly said he would not seek re-election when his term expires on Dec. 31, 2013, but Yorktown Citizens for a DPW insisted its objective was to save the town money, not force out DiBartolo.
Group members said they spoke to more than 30 municipalities in 12 counties as part of their research, including the neighboring Cortlandt, which eliminated the highway superintendent as an elected position in 1999.
The group eventually fell short in its effort to get a referendum on the November ballot. Grace and the majority of the Town Board said the plan to change a 200-year tradition of having an elected highway superintendent was too important to rush without being thoroughly studied.
The highway superintendent has a four-year term, and the position is up for election in November 2013. Yorktown Citizens for a DPW said the town will not be able to revisit the discussion until the next superintendent's term is over.