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Future of Morristown Highway Superintendent put to voters

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MORRISTOWN – Voters will get to decide the future of the town highway superintendent’s position in this year’s Nov. 6 general election.

Following Tuesday’s vote by the Town Council, proposition one will be added to the ballot asking residents whether the office should be changed from an elected to an appointed position.

“This [vote] by no means denotes that this is what I think we should do,” said Frank L. Putman, town supervisor.

Highway Superintendent, Michael L. Bogart has served in that capacity since 1992.

“I feel that it should stay in the hands of the people,” he said after Tuesday’s meeting.

Mr. Bogart said the position, while requiring a fair amount of technical knowledge, can be learned by a capable community member.

Town Councilman William H. Warren said in the time since Mr. Bogart was first elected, “It’s become a lot more complicated to be highway superintendent.”

Mr. Warren said the superintendent today needs a basic understanding of engineering as well as the ability to deal with complex state regulations.

“Mike said they [future superintendents] can learn, but he didn’t say how long it would take,” said Mr. Putman.

Citing private conversations with community members, Mr. Bogart said he is confident the referendum will not pass.

“I think it’ll be turned down,” he said, adding that an elected official will be more responsive to the people rather than the Town Council.

Mr. Bogart has not yet decided whether to seek another term when his expires at the end of 2013.

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