Murray highway superintendent urges support for Rightmyer, says Sidonio belittles employees

Posted 25 June 2023 at 8:13 am


It’s time for a change.

I am in my third year at the Town of Murray.  It has been an honest pleasure to get to know so many of you in the Town and County. We have accomplished quite a lot, none of which could have been achieved without our great group of dedicated staff, some of who’ve been with Murray for decades.

However, as good as much of my experience here has been, there have been some significant problems. As the Highway Superintendent, I have my own perspective. I have seen enough. Joe is not a leader. It gives me no pleasure to discredit anyone. However, I have observed a toxic workplace, witnessed and experienced my own anxiety and I have seen an alarming number of resignations as a result.

Having once been in “Joe’s camp,” I now see him in a clearer light. Joe harasses, stalks and tries to intimidate. Joe is a bully. He lies to get his way as he works for his own self interest under the guise of working “for the taxpayers.” I hate that I have to participate in negativity and politics.  Joe Sidonio leaves me no choice. Everything he does has an ulterior motive, re-election. Meanwhile, in his own words, he is “destroying the place.”

Joe entered into his position like a bull in a China shop which has led to building-wide distrust. The “political crony culture” that he complains of is completely by his own hand. If you remember, his campaign was based on negativity including water loss. He accused the good ole boys of stealing water and covering it up, all unfounded. In fact, water losses were actual underground water leaks.

Joe  doesn’t trust the handling of money, suggesting improprieties. However, once the audits were complete, Joe said himself, no money was found to be missing. Joe tells the auditors what to look at. He guides them and still comes up with nothing. He accused the workers of fabricating overtime which was 100% untrue. Joe has to remember that this is a municipality where the workers need to be available 24/7. Hourly wage computation can be a bit different in the private sector and far different from migrant farm wage, an area Joe is most familiar with.

Joe fabricates town problems like an obsession. He has found nothing and yet he still spends hours spreading dirt, digging and searching for improprieties, to justify the premise on which he ran his campaign. Again, this leads to distrust.

His use of expensive town lawyers has exhausted legal accounts forcing him to dip into other funds. He has racked up thousands of dollars in senseless bills. Joe is mentally exhausting. He doesn’t take no for an answer, even when the answer, despite legal fees and endless board meetings, is still unequivocally NO.  Wasting everyone’s time and resources.

Why hasn’t Joe gone after the nepotism in our town? He had a real big problem with this in his earlier campaigns. Could it be that he has friends who are family in the building? I personally don’t mind relatives working together as long as they are getting their work done. Often times family is harder on each other and tends to lead to more production.

He blames the workers for having “top shelf golden healthcare plans” when in fact there were 24 plans available (24 being top shelf). The town workers have #13. They were never ungrateful.  When Joe complained and tried to change it on them, he got some push back. They don’t trust him. Joe has made it abundantly clear that he resents them for having healthcare coverage. It seems he regards the contentment of his migrant workers as he does the contentment of the Town of Murray workers?

Don’t forget, these are the individuals that clear and salt your public roads in the winter months. They do the dirty work, like remove dead deer from the shoulders, mow dangerous roadsides and depressing cemeteries. They work night and day, including last Christmas Eve and Christmas Day thru white-out conditions in the worst storm Orleans County has seen in decades.

Joe shames the recipients of raises, health care and earned overtime. I’m sorry but that’s not leadership. Being the chief financial officer does not mean that you continually try to take away from the people that make it all happen.

The town employees are experiencing the same inflation that the entire country is. They have families to raise, groceries to buy and utilities to pay just like everyone else does. Despite what Joe goes around telling people, no one is getting rich by working for the town.

Sidonio once told me he thought Gerry Rightmyer would be a great addition to the Town of Murray team. I agree. I think Gerry can offer a sense of calm and reasonability which has been absent these past few years. It is time for a change.

Yours truly,

Dirk Lammes

Town of Murray Highway Superintendent