November 2012

Thank you very much for attending and exhibiting at last month’s N.Y.S. Highway and Public Works Expo in Syracuse. It’s not easy setting up a show like this, especially for exhibitors who have to lug all their stuff to the Fairgrounds. You attending, though, certainly makes it worth for them and us. Your strong attendance this year reminds all of us why we do this: to provide a fun “day off” for you and your crews for a little food and shopping. Hope you had a wonderful time; we did. Coverage of the show begins on page 50 in this issue.

Now let’s shift gears to this month’s profile. Since acquiring Superintendent’s Profile back in 2003, we’ve published more than 100 profiles — I’ve either written or edited all of them, and each one has been completely different. Yes, that’s true: each of you whom we’ve profiled has told us a unique story. Some of you have thought going into the profiling process that you didn’t really have anything different to say to us, but you always have. Sure, many of the responsibilities are similar, but not the anecdotes, not the challenges, not your paths to this job.

Such is the case with Peter Harris of the town of Southold on the eastern end of Long Island. Challenges with the town board are inherent. Convincing them that a particular piece of equipment or a specific project is necessary is, well, not always a given. Peter Harris is neither shy nor worried when he challenges his board. In fact, he says flat out in his profile that his board doesn’t understand what it’s like to run his department, what it is that he needs to do his job effectively and safely for him and his crew. But he doesn’t come across insulting or condescending or combative in any way. Rather, he truthfully and passionately states the facts. He sees himself (accurately) as the expert in his field. He takes his job and his responsibilities to his residents seriously. And if that causes friction between him and his board, so be it, he figures. Why? Because he loves his job and that’s always a story worth telling.


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