DeWitt Rocco Conte (Republican) and Joe Chiarenza (Democrat) are both in the running for DeWitt Highway Superintendent. The current superintendent, Brian Maxwell, is retiring. Election day is Nov. 8. For polling places, go to www.ongov.net.
Conte ran a successful business for 12 years before becoming employed with the DeWitt Highway Department, where he has worked for the past 12 years. He has been highway foreman for four years. He is endorsed by the Republican Conservative and Independence parties, the Veterans Party and the DeWitt PBA.
Chiarenza graduated from East Syracuse-Minoa High School, Morrisville College and SUNY Environmental Science & Forestry. He has 20-plus years of managerial and business operations experience, and he has served on the town of DeWitt Advisory Conservation for more than 20 years. He has been on the town’s tree committee for two years. Chiarenza is endorsed by the Democratic Party, the UAW and the Sierra Club.
Why are you running for DeWitt Highway Superintendent?
Conte: I want the town of DeWitt to continue to offer the best highway services possible. I have the knowledge and experience to step up and lead the department while solving the many challenges residents bring to our attention.
Chiarenza: To enhance the way of like that is both environmentally and economically beneficial to the residents of the town of DeWitt.
What is your public service mission?
Conte: To provide the residents of DeWitt with the level of service they expect, while looking for opportunities to share services and reduce expenses.
Chiarenza: To serve the needs of the residents and traveling public in an efficient and cost-effective manner; and to acknowledge the tax payers’ concerns relating to the condition of roads, drainage, trees and other services. I pledge to work hard to provide the service expected of me.
What do you believe to be your constituency’s most pressing issue or challenge?
Conte: Residents in all areas have expressed concerns with the rising cost of materials for maintaining and building the town’s infrastructure. The northern neighborhoods continue to seek options for storm water drainage.
Chiarenza: Improve communication and response between the public and the Highway Department with concerns relating to services.
What is your leadership philosophy?
Conte: Positive relationships and communication.
Chiarenza: To be open minded, communicate, give recognition and encourage group effort.