For highway superintendent we endorse the incumbent, Vincent Orlando. His opponent, Gene Wesnofske, made the point at his editorial board with The Suffolk Times that Mr. Orlando had not done the smart thing and bought Army surplus trucks at greatly reduced prices. Asked for his response, Mr. Orlando said he had done just that. They can be seen parked in the highway department lot in Peconic.
The highway department is responsible for just over 200 miles of road and is dependent on money allocated from the Town Board to complete paving projects. Mr. Wesnofske has argued he can save taxpayers money, but he failed to outline a clear vision of how he would accomplish that. Mr. Orlando came prepared with a copy of the 2016 budget that showed a remaining balance of $373,000 to the end of the year. Mr. Wesnofske said he feels the highway department will end up over budget at the end of 2017.
Mr. Wesnofske also questioned the storage of machinery. He said equipment currently stored outside will begin to deteriorate. Mr. Orlando said he agreed 100 percent. He explained that a rental agreement at a barn used for storage on Cox Lane ended when a new facility to be built was supposed to include a storage barn. But money dried up before they could be completed, Mr. Orlando said. He’s now pushing for the Town Board to find another barn that can be rented.
This is not to say Mr. Wesnofske does not deserve a pat on the back for his hard work on his family’s farm in Southold. His farm stand is a reminder of what we used to have when farm stands sold vegetables grown right there, and before people began driving out from hours away to buy cornstalks or to take a selfie next to an old Farmall tractor. We applaud Mr. Wesnofske’s dedication to his family’s farm.