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Morristown discussing making highway superintendent an appointed position

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MORRISTOWN — According to Supervisor Frank L. Putman, the town is in the early stages of looking into making its highway superintendent an appointed position.

The position now is an elected office held by Michael L. Bogart, who Mr. Putman said would be unaffected by the switch.

“It is my understanding that our present highway superintendent, who was elected, is not going to seek another term,” Mr. Putman said.

Efforts to reach Mr. Bogart on Thursday were unsuccessful.

Mr. Putman said Mr. Bogart has another full year remaining on his term, meaning the town’s next highway superintendent won’t take office until 2014.

“I would think we would want to strongly consider it, if we’re inclined to do so,” he said.

“Over time the position has become so much more technical than it was in the past,” he said. “So we’re looking at whether or not this should be an appointed position.”

While the position has always been an elected office in Morristown, Mr. Putman said the move is not unprecedented, as there are several other towns across the state where it is an appointed position, including Gouverneur.

Mr. Putman said the idea of making the switch was first brought up by a member of the board in a casual conversation. Mr. Putman declined to identify which member of the board brought up the idea.

“If one of our board members brings something up, we’ll look at it,” he said.

Town Clerk David J. Murray said that’s something he’s doing.

“At the request of the town board, I’ve begun researching this and looking for information,” he said.

Mr. Putman said at this point no decision has been made on what the town will do with the position, should Mr. Bogart elect to retire.

“We’re in the very early stages of looking into this,” he said.

No decision will be made without the public having a chance to share its thoughts on the matter.

“We will be looking to our residents for input on this,” he said.

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