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Brian Sherman tapped as Highway Superintendent

Brian Sherman will become the new highway superintendent on April 1. He’s seen here in a 2011 photo introducing a plan to the Town Board for a Recycling Center roof. He currently is crew leader at the Recycling Center.

Brian Sherman has been selected as the town’s new Highway Superintendent, replacing Jay Card Jr., who will leave his post March 31.

The Town Board interviewed four qualified candidates and unanimously tapped Mr. Sherman for the top job, according to Supervisor Gary Gerth.

“He’s accomplished so much,” Mr. Gerth said about Mr. Card and expressed confidence that Mr. Sherman would be an excellent replacement.

Mr. Card agreed, telling the Reporter that he has confidence  Mr. Sherman can bring the right leadership to the Highway Department.

“He has been exposed to my program,” Mr. Card said.

In accepting the job, it’s understood that Mr. Sherman would have to run for re-election to the post in November if he chooses to continue as highway superintendent. The elected highway superintendent is traditionally appointed by the Town Board to also serve as Commissioner of Public Work.

“We just didn’t want to put a person in for nine months,” Mr. Gerth said about receiving assurance from Mr. Sherman that he would stand for re-election in November.

When the Town Board was interviewing candidates, Mr. Gerth said he hoped the person chosen would be endorsed by both parties. That was the case for Mr. Card, except for his first term, when he ran as a Democrat, defeating  Hap Bowditch,  the Republican candidate.

Mr. Gerth said there are several areas related to the environment that he hopes both parties can work on together to achieve results.

Once Mr. Sherman moves into the top spot, there will be some realignment of assignments for others within the department, Mr. Card said. Mr. Sherman currently is crew leader of the Recycling Center and that job will have to be filled.

Mr. Card said, before Mr. Sherman would be available for an interview, about his new responsibilities, there are issues to be worked concerning salary.

That has been a sticking point for Mr. Card throughout his tenure. He was elected in November 2011, and year after year has brought statistics to the Town Board showing that other East End highway superintendents earn considerably more without the additional responsibilities of handling public works and the Recycling Center.

While his salary has moved up, it is still nowhere near what other East End highway superintendents are being paid.

Mr. Gerth confirmed  he has discussed salary with Mr. Sherman, and as of April 1, the new highway superintendent would be earning $105,000. At the same time as a current union member, Mr. Sherman receives overtime pay above what he will receive as highway chief.

Mr. Card said he assumes Mr. Sherman will seek election to the post in his own right for at least one term. He noted that Mr. Sherman is nearing retirement and  doesn’t know if he would seek a second term.