DICKINSON –– A six-year veteran of the town Highway Department was appointed the town’s new highway superintendent on Thursday.
Eric Hazen will succeed Richard Fountain, who had last month told the Town Board he would be resigning to take a job with the St. Regis Falls Central School District. Fountain’s last day with the town was Thursday, although he said he will remain available to help Hazen transition into his new job.
Hazen said he has some ideas for changes in the Highway Department’s operations he would like to implement and saw Fountain’s decision to step down as an opportunity to try to put his ideas into practice. “Now would be the chance to try it,” he said.
Hazen’s appointment will last until the end of 2021, the end of Fountain’s current two-year term. To retain the position after that time, he will need to run for the post in the 2021 general election.
Town Supervisor Sherry Smith has said the Franklin County Board of Elections told her the timing of Fountain’s resignation made it too late to place the position on this November’s ballot.
Fountain was first elected highway superintendent in 2017, succeeding Joseph Clookey, who had opted not to run for re-election. Fountain faced no opponent at that time and he was re-elected without opposition two years later.