In seeking to purchase two new trucks the for Southold Town highway department’s fleet, Superintendent Vincent Orlando is essentially doing what he told voters he would when he ran for the position in last year’s elections. He’s aiming to “rotate the fleet,” replacing outdated equipment that’s in need of costly repairs with more modern and efficient vehicles.
But the way he went about it Tuesday might not be the best way to communicate to the Town Board — or the voters — about exactly what his department’s needs are.
He appeared before the board Tuesday morning, speaking of the need for two new trucks — one now and one in the near future. Even though the board agreed to bond for one truck’s $180,000 price tag, Mr. Orlando got some push-back from Supervisor Scott Russell, who once again — as he did with Mr. Orlando’s predecessor — asked for a capital plan for equipment purchases. That seems like a very reasonable request.
Instead of establishing himself as a guy who randomly pops up before the board asking for unexpected amounts of money, Mr. Orlando should put together a presentation that outlines his assessment of the highway fleet, the equipment that’s needed and when it should be purchased.
This way, all our elected leaders can consider the plan and work together to refine and execute it.