COLTON - After defeating Harold Bush in a Colton highway superintendent primary for a spot on the Conservative line last month, Brion J. Stowe is challenging incumbent Kevin S. Hawley for the post in the Nov. 5 election.
Mr. Stowe, 56, of 80 Stowe Bay Road, Colton, received a Civil Engineering degree from Canton College of Technology and spent 14 years in the military.
He is currently governed by the New York State Department of Transportation and is a consultant.
Given his strenuous schedule and extensive work load, he said he has found it difficult to do much campaigning. Mr. Stowe said that he feels he is very qualified for the position though.
I have to go to work every day. To be campaigning, its really been a slow process. Work is priority and I am currently a heavy highway construction inspector, and I am working on a bridge now. My priority is work. If I get the job, I get it, Mr. Stowe said.
Im qualified for it. I do construction now as it is. Right now Im working on a bridge. Ive done about two airports. One was a little one and one was a big one. Ive been doing this for years. I want to see how the town feels right now.
The veteran and long-time Colton resident said that through his campaign he has tried to get more information out there on himself.
Mr. Stowe is also certified with the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) and noted some of his goals for the department ,if elected.
Weve got to get some newer snow plows, at least another one, in my opinion. Theyre running during the wintertime and summertime, he said. We should try to get more funding money so they can resurface some of the town roads with asphalt. Thats very expensive. However, theres only so much money allotted to do a certain amount of stuff.
Mr. Hawley, 47, running on the Republican line, is wrapping up his eighth year and second term as Coltons highway superintendent. He said he has been on the campaign trail recently, talking with many people throughout the area.
Ive been talking to as many people as possible. Im getting a lot of positive feedback so far. The voters have always treated me real well, and I hope they re-elect me come November. I have enjoyed my two terms thus far, Mr. Hawley said.
Mr. Hawley explained that he is proud of his accomplishments so far in his tenure.
I have either reconstructed or resurfaced just about 14 miles of town roads in my eight years as highway superintendent, he said. We also replaced two bridges in, I believe, 2006. Weve seen increases in our CHIPS funding from the state, and Ive tried to utilize that to the best of my ability to improve our infrastructure.
Before beginning his run as highway superintendent, Mr. Hawley worked his own excavating business in Colton for 17 years.
I ran my own business here in town and the people know what I do and know me well. I always seem to get along well with everybody, he said. One of the biggest things I heard from people when I first got back into this work was that they would like the roads plowed more often. I have been doing that, and I take pride in my winter maintenance.