Haverstraw Highway Superintendents Election Will be Determined by Villagers Who Barely Use the Department

It’s taxation without representation! Most voters electing candidate scantly use town Highway Department, as villages and unincorporated Pomona have separate highway services.  

BY MARC MOSS
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John Piperato, candidate for Haverstraw highway superintendent
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George Wargo Jr., candidate for Haverstraw highway superintendent

There’s something funny about the Town of Haverstraw highway superintendents election that nobody is talking about.

That funny thing is the fact that the election is likely to be swayed by voters in the heavily populated villages of Haverstraw and West Haverstraw, while those municipalities make only scant use of the town Highway Department. The unincorporated area of Pomona contracts with the Town of Ramapo for highway services, so those voters also will be voting in an election for services they do not use.

The Town of Haverstraw Highway superintendent ultimately controls only the roads of Thiells, Mt. Ivy and part of Garnerville, while the rest of the town has their roads and parks serviced by the village DPWs. The state controls Routes 9W and 202 and contracts with the Town of Haverstraw to service those roads. Town parks are serviced by the Town Park Department, while village parks are serviced by Village DPWs.

Village of Haverstraw Mayor Michael Kohut agreed it’s “interesting” the amount of influence that villagers who are not under the jurisdiction of the town Highway Department have on the election, but he also noted, “I have to leave the village sometimes and go elsewhere. I need to have a good Highway Department in the Town of Haverstraw.”

He continued, “All of us have benefitted from having both strong DPWs and a Highway Department. All three take great responsibility.”

Kohut also noted that the town Highway Department helps the village plow Short Clove Rd. as the town has special plow equipment that makes the job easier.

At the end of the day, Town of Haverstraw highway superintendent is just not that big of a job when compared to other municipal superintendents. Yet the fight for the position is so nasty that it’s brought all of Haverstraw politics to a halt and even led to the arrest of Barry Berman, a long-time upstanding member of the community.