Letter To The Editor:William Naughton Farewell Message
As my 26-year tenure as Huntington’s independently elected Superintendent of Highways draws to a close, I’d like to express my thanks to the residents and taxpayers throughout our town for affording me the privilege of serving you. I certainly sought to do so in an honest and responsible manner through efficient and effective management of the Highway’s Office. I’m also grateful to my family for their continuous support –particularly to my wife Lynn, who put up with the long hours I often put in both on the job and at community events at which I felt I should be present.
My gratitude also to all the employees of the Highway Office whose conscientious and dedicated efforts were of immense help as we sought to maintain, pave, repair, resurface and reconstruct many of the 784 miles of roadways and right-of-ways within our town and to ensure proper drainage over the years. The tasks before us were not always easy. Certainly not when faced with severe storms — like Tropical Storm Irene and Superstorm Sandy – that we experienced over the past couple of years. Despite a shortage of equipment with which to deal with them, we managed to clear hundreds of thousands of cubic yards of debris from town roads in the aftermath of these epic storms. Our town highway employees — as well as the outside contractors with whom we worked when the situations necessitated it — did us proud. I hope and trust that they will work as well with my successor as they did with me.
I wish Pete Gunther, our next Superintendent of Highways, only the best. I hope that, like me, he will seek to maintain the independence and integrity of the Highway Office and to run it in a nonpartisan fashion. I hope he also will resist the efforts of other town elected officials who may, once again, seek to convert the elected Superintendent of Highways position into an appointed one. I know that he, as a former firefighter and a fire district Commissioner, shares my commitment to emergency preparedness, and I hope he also will seek to ensure employee safety. Both have been hallmarks of the Highway Office’s operations. Finally, I pray that he — and you — will not have to cope with many severely challenging weather events this winter.
To all the residents of the Town of Huntington, thanks again for your support over the years and for enabling me to be Huntington’s longest-serving Superintendent of Highways. I wish you a happy, healthy and safe holiday season and all the best in the New Year.