Town names new highway superintendent


By Patsy Nicosia

The Town of Cobleskill has named Michael Persons its highway superintendent.
Finalists for the one-year position also included Tim Mallia and Jeff Eckler, who will continue to run the Highway Department until Mr. Persons takes over January 1.
Mr. Persons replaces longtime superintendent Tom Fissell, who resigned in November.
Mr. Eckler, however, had essentially been filling the post since August.
Highway superintendent is an appointed—not elected position—in Cobleskill and Mr. Persons will serve for the remaining year of Mr. Fissell’s appointment.
He will be subject to six months probation and subject to a set of job performance standards established last January.
“We had many good applicants,” said Supervisor Tom Murray. “We thank them all. And I think now, we should be back on track.”

• • •

But even as Cobleskill moved ahead replacing Mr. Fissell Monday, the question of citizen involvement continued to stall the proposed Discrimination/Harassment Policy drafted by the Citizens Anti-Bias Committee.
Proposed revisions bar citizen involvement in investigating and dealing with complaints—something that didn’t sit well with Susan Spivack, who’s done the lion’s share of developing the policy.
“We still would like a fully functioning citizen member,” Ms. Spivack said, “not a token member.
Ms. Spivack said the Anti-Bias Committee believes people would be more comfortable submitting harassment or discrimination complaints to someone outside of government.
“We know there are many precedents [for this],” she said. “We are not reinventing the wheel with this.”
Councilman Ryan McAllister, attorney, said he’s been discussing the proposal with village attorney Cheryl Parsons Reul, who shares his concerns over confidentiality issues.
Mr. McAllister said he sees citizen involvement in the implementation, revisions, and training portions of the policy, but not in addressing the actual complaints.
“I don’t ever intend to have a citizen to a ‘token’ of anything,” he added. “Time for all of us is much too valuable.”
Ms. Spivack said she hopes the policy will finally be adopted in January; Mr. Murray and councilmen agreed.