This blog is of, by and for the progressive members of our Jefferson County community. Our mission is to provide information about fellow progressives for all to view, to provide a forum for forward looking candidates and to offer other varied items of interest. Your opinion is important to this blog and if you wish to write us an item or send us a picture please email it to THIS BLOG IS NOT AN OFFICIAL BLOG OF THE JEFFERSON COUNTY DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Many of you read last week of the shenanigans that are happening with the Town of Rutland and the Highway Superintendant.  Below you'll find a letter submitted to the Town Board from the Highway Superintendant.  I, for one, drive the roads of Rutland and it saddens me when it appears that Board members are putting their personal issues with the Highway Superintendant in front of the good of their constituents.  Read on and we'll keep you posted.
Sean Hennessey


       As you all can see it looks like we are in for a good old fashion North Country winter and my primary concern is for the safest travel conditions as possible.  Outside of the first quarter of 2008 we have truly been blessed with some exceptionally mild winters and it appears that council has molded recent budgets around those mild winters, thus rendering the Town of Rutland financially unprepared to combat a normal or heavy winter. It is my obligation as Highway Superintendent to advise the board of any possible budgetary shortfalls that may occur.   


       My recommendations for Salt, Sand and Fuel needs for 2009, presented during budget deliberations, reflected an eight year purchasing average.  This recommendation for average resources needed for an average season was ultimately cut by over $93,000.00.  I also reported that, in the spirit of salt conservation, additional needs for fuel and labor would be required to increase plow trips and fight hard pack conditions.  The boards answer to this issue was to cut even more fuel and labor dollars at the last minute of the final budget hearing.     


      This type of budgeting produces only two possible outcomes for your highway department.  Insufficient funding for anything less than a normal season is dangerous and forces your highway department ( in the event of a normal or harsh winter ) to either battle the storms knowing there will be budget overruns or ration resources and plow snow only until the rations for that day or week are consumed and then park the trucks.  Either way, improper funding inflicts a non- controllable situation and unsuccessful results on your Highway Department.  


      I urge the board to revisit this issue, recognize the type of season that we are obviously faced with and properly fund the resources needed to provide for safe travel in the town of Rutland.                                                                                                                                               







Claude F Phelps

Town of Rutland

Highway Superintendent   


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