Dale Root says he would bring needed change to Shelby Highway Department
Shelby voters, November 5th is around the corner and I would like to remind you how important your voice and vote are for our small town of Shelby. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself in case you do not know me.
I am Dale S. Root, the Republican and Conservative endorsed candidate running for Shelby Highway Superintendent. I am a 40-year resident of Shelby. Husband to Helen, father to Kathy, Jess and Joe. Proud grandfather of Haylie, Lexi, Major, Barrett and Owen.
With my wife, we are co-owners of Dale S. Root Trucking LLC and Dale S. Root Farms LLC, two vertically integrated businesses that my daughter Jessica and son Joe will be taking over at the end of this year.
I will be retiring and stepping down from the day-to-day operation. I have sound business experience in budgeting, labor management, a good knowledge of machinery and truck maintenance. I know I will be able to give the Town of Shelby a new and much-needed perspective as the highway superintendent. As a business owner, I know what it takes to do more and work with less.
A few issues I have come across that I would like to see changed:
• Repair a fractured relationship between the highway superintendent and the Town Board. When elected, I will work together with the Town Board to analyze issues and create a plausible plan.
• The Town of Shelby should incorporate the use of our local Iroquois Job Corps, and the Sheriff’s Prison worker program. Both of these programs are free and come with supervision, which will free up town personnel to do much needed service on the water districts, road and machinery maintenance, etc. Individuals from these programs would be able to mow and maintain the cemeteries along with roadside cleanup.
• Water meter reading issue. We as taxpayers are paying the town twice to read the meters. Each water district has a $6.75 per meter fee allocated for meter reading that is paid to the appointed water supervisor (highway superintendent), but the meters are read by a town employee at the hourly wage of $25.78. At times, two employees are on the job at the superintendent’s orders. This costs the taxpayer the meter fee of $6.75 (that goes to the water supervisor) plus the two employees’ hourly wage. I would work with the town employees to find a fair solution.
• The town purchased a $30,000 GPS system four years ago to map all the water districts, main valves and hydrants so in case the need arises. This would give fire personnel, town employees, or contractors have precise coordinates. Currently, this system is not being used. It is sitting idle in the highway building. It would be a good resource to have all junctions, fire hydrants, valves marked out for local fire companies and highway workers.
• I will opt out of the pension program saving the town $4,000 in annual contributions.
These are a few things I have discovered in a short period of time, mostly from reading the budgets. These are really not Town Board issues. They represent some of the mismanagement of the current highway superintendent.
We need to save tax payer money – there is plenty to work with within the annual budget.
I would like to enterprise some aspects of the town’s jobs to see how much is spent. One thing would be to corral compensated overtime hours. In the month of July, basically no one was working as they were all awarded vacation days at the same time. So if you wonder why little was fixed on the roads – you now know.
Currently there are 4 full-time employees and 2 part-time employees. Within the last few weeks there has been a budget request for another part-time employee to mow – I do not believe we need 3. The current part-time employees are used for mowing. On days that are not suitable for mowing they are still allowed to come in, given hours for other odd jobs that are made up for them taking work away from the 4 full-time employees.
In the last 9 months the people that live on East Shelby Road have had three water main ruptures due to the line not being bedded on sand. The current superintendent was the lead inspector on the line. This is not the area to try and cut funds to save money. Do the job right the first time.
As a business owner for 35-plus years, I have learned how important it is to be well organized, and available to all. You cannot expect your workers to excel in the job if the tools and ideas are not put in place.
I will be accessible to all Shelby residents, day or night, that have concerns or issues they may see. I will respond to the issues once I have received all the facts and take action in a timely manner.
On the farm we need to “make hay when the sun shines,” I do not see where “hay” was made while the sun shined in the Town of Shelby this year. Change can be scary, but change is also good.
I ask for your vote and support on Nov. 5.
Dale S. Root