Highway Superintendent Card may not seek second term

JULIE LANE PHOTO | Highway Superintendent and Commission of Public Works Jay Card Jr. is weighing his political future.

Highway Superintendent and Public Works Commissioner Jay Card Jr. told the Reporter Thursday morning in a wide-ranging interview that he might not run for a second term.

His term ends January 1, 2014, and if he wants a second term, he would have to run again next November.

Mr. Card said he would decide if he’s in or out before the June deadline to file as a candidate.

It was a matter of money. “I don’t know if I can afford to stay here,” Mr. Card said, speaking of his post. The job takes “a lot more hours than I expected,” he added. “I didn’t take the position to come in here and do anything but a really good job.”

Should he make the decision not to run, he wouldn’t be interested in any other elective position, but would make himself available to the next highway superintendent and public works commissioner for advice, just as his predecessor, Mark Ketcham, has done for him. He said Mr. Ketcham has been “great” about giving him advice when he has needed it.

“I would do the same for the next guy,” Mr. Card said.

He initially ran because he had been critical of some aspects of how work was being done and “rather than complain about it,” decided to run for the job.

The cost to the town for his services is less than it might be for another person since as a former Shelter Island police officer, Mr. Card already is covered for his pension and health insurance.

He earns $51,978 as highway superintendent and another $20,813 as commissioner of public works, according to the town budget for this year.