SINCLAIRVILLE - Lewis Nickerson, the elected highway superintendent for the Town of Charlotte, resigned effective June 5. The resignation was accepted at Wednesday's meeting of the Charlotte Town Board. Doug Walker was thanked by supervisor Kenneth Bochmann for stepping in as interim supervisor.
A copy of the resignation letter was obtained by the OBSERVER.
In his letter, Nickerson wrote, "I have, over the last ten years, done my best to do the best job I could for the town, despite the many and continuous roadblocks that have been put in front of me by a power hungry supervisor and a group of gullible board members. I admit that I have made mistakes but I have learned from them and have put them behind me, where some have not and continue to bring them up.
OBSERVER Photo by Diane R. Chodan
Lewis Nickerson resigned his elected position as highway superintendent for the Town of Charlotte. Doug Walker is stepping in as interim superintendent. The board plans to advertise for a replacement.
"As a board you have cut the budget to a point where it is nearly impossible to maintain the highway system of the town, and then continually complain about what needs to be done.
"I have done my best to abide by the rules that you, as a board, have put in place. Whether they are right or wrong. I have put up with the almost constant berating and belittling at board meetings by the supervisor and have received very little support from the board members, even though, in most instances, they are more than aware that is wrong. In those cases where I did receive support I am grateful.
"But in this last instance, the straw that broke the camel's back shows the total lack of concern and narrow vision that you as a board have exhibited. To think that spending money on a piece of equipment that has been totaled out by the insurance company and believing that our neighboring towns are going to be tripping over themselves to come to our assistance, at this time of year, takes the prize. Looking at paying $7,900 for a month in rent versus at least $25,000 to $30,000 to repair the damaged (and totaled) piece of equipment is ludicrous. Renting a piece of equipment is entirely within my rights as highway superintendent. Your threats of not paying borders on the illegal.
"I wish you the best of luck with your upcoming struggle with the union over the problem employee. I am clear of the entire matter. Do not, and I repeat, do not bother me with any of it."
Nickerson attended Wednesday's meeting. When the board went into executive session, he said, "I just got tired of fighting."
When the board returned, Bochmann said councilmen Henry Hopkins and Kenneth Smith would serve as a committee to interview for a highway superintendent. He also said the position would be advertised in both the Jamestown Post-Journal and the OBSERVER.
When reached by phone, Bochmann did not wish to comment on the letter. He said, "The board appreciated the work he (Nickerson) did for the town. It's his prerogative to resign, and now we have to move on."
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