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Part II: Ballard on Sparaco's Highway Job

Part II: This post looks at Ballard's explanations on Sparaco's performance so far in the position

 

Clarkstown Highway Superintendent Wayne Ballard announced in August that he hired Frank Sparaco, a Rockland County legislator, as the department’s new part-time constituent services assistant.

Sparaco started working Aug. 27 in the $75,000-a-year position. The 25-hour a week position does not include benefits: medical, or vacation or sick days.  As a legislator, Sparaco receives medical benefits.

At the December Nanuet Civic Association meeting, Ballard addressed questions residents had about Sparaco’s position. In Patch's first post, Ballard explained why the position was needed, how he came to his decision with choosing Sparaco

Sparaco in the Position

During Hurricane Sandy, Clarkstown Police and the Highway Department produced a shared internet document (through Google) to input current reportings and works-in-progress during the storm and the clean up efforts.  This “live” document was viewed by multiple town departments as well as the O&R representative stationed at the police building command center.  The report included data such as outages, downed poles/wires/transformers, downed trees and hanging limbs, fully and partially blocked streets and was updated 24/7.

“Frank was the one doing the work with the Google doc on behalf of the Highway Department at the police department taking in information from the field and keeping me apprised during the storm,” said Ballard. “During the first and second week of the storm, he worked over 95 hours.  He made himself available when he was needed, which I knew he would when I hired him.”

This document, as a management tool, enabled the best use of labor, equipment and materials for the opening of roads on a priority basis, he added.

"With regards to the storm response, I will be submitting a portion of his salary to FEMA, I’m highly confident that it will be paid for.  With my experience along these lines, I know there are always opportunities to cover expenses and save taxpayers’ dollars.  I believe that I make major decisions every day involving million dollar decisions.  For example, the $3.8 M that I submitted to FEMA for the Town of Clarkstown, I'm not expecting to receive all that money because it is an estimate and they'll negotiate me down.  However, in the past we have received a significant portion of what I requested.”

Last Statement

"I've been a highway superintendent for 15 years and I believe I deliver really good service. I streamlined my department. I ask that next time I have to run for re-election that you not consider just one thing that you may disagree with that I did, but all the things I’ve done in the 15 years I have been in office. I hope that for that next election, I can come in here and show you more of the true value that Mr. Sparaco has brought to the Highway Department."

With the county in financial stress, at one point, the county had stated that due to their being a budget constraint, they're looking to give towns more roads to take care of.

“To be able to have a person like Frank Sparaco that can walk in there, who knows the people and knows the issues, it's far better than (someone who is not familiar with all the different levels of government),” said Ballard. “I need someone that can take a situation and understand it, not just take it one or two steps, but take it to completion."

“I’m sorry if any voter disagrees with any decisions I have made,” he added. “I will always work as hard as I can to gain back the confidence of the constituents of the Town of Clarkstown.”

stephany December 25, 2012 at 09:18 PM
Sounds like you wasted the taxpayers money posting the job, sorting through the applicants, interviewing. when only one person could ever be hired and that person was known from the beginning. I do not have a problem with Frank it is the process and deceit that bothers me.This job was created for him imo
stephany December 26, 2012 at 01:29 AM
after 4.5 hrs pending approval i will try again. Sounds like you wasted the taxpayers money posting the job, sorting through the applicants, interviewing. when only one person could ever be hired and that person was known from the beginning. I do not have a problem with Frank it is the process and deceit that bothers me.This job was created for him imo
Laurence Voss December 26, 2012 at 01:07 PM
With Rockland County awash in debt , Mr. Ballard and Mr. Sparaco create a useless patronage position ( answering the telephone ) and throw $75,000 of taxpayer money out the window. What they were thinking about is unclear, but both ought to be prosecuted or, at the very least, fired for cause. This voter certainly disagrees with the astounding arrogance and avarice displayed by two so called public servants that believe they can rob the cookie jar with impunity and in front of a large audience to boot.Standard operating procedure for the republican party apparently and a public disgrace that should be stopped in its tracks and reversed before the new year. A pox on them both.
Deb Mesibov December 26, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Since when is 75K a part time salary in a public service position? Plus he's already receiving public funds as a legislator. Double-dipping? I think that's what's bugging people.
Dennis December 26, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Patronage, pure & simple.
stephany December 26, 2012 at 06:29 PM
there is no party in Clarkstown that is not corrupt, and you are correct they should first be investigated by special investigator, then prosecuted if warranted, then fired +lose pension and benefits if they are convicted. while the prosecution is going on no long term non life threatening medial procedures should be allowed to start for them or any family member..no plugs for Ballard either.
Ralph December 27, 2012 at 04:13 AM
Sounds like a reasonable explanation to me. Theres no pleasing some people. Just keep up the good work wayne, we will support you.
joshstern December 27, 2012 at 04:15 AM
Wayne, Dont listen to these naysayers. We know you have a hard job to do. We will be there for you when you need us.
phil December 27, 2012 at 04:17 AM
We support Sparaco and Wayne all the way.
Haroldstar December 27, 2012 at 04:31 AM
I hope this is the last time we have to hear about this. Its been beaten to death. Its a done deal give them a chance if they dont do a good job vote them out. Butif i know wayne im sure hell be just fine. Keep up the good work wayne
holymoly December 27, 2012 at 04:43 AM
the real test will be the 2013 election and if i were ballard id want sparaco on my team.. Good luck fellas give em hell
wisher December 27, 2012 at 04:55 AM
Good luck Wayne Ballard. Dont let these people get you down. Your doing a great job.
stephany December 28, 2012 at 03:30 PM
wow!!!! you all posted at the same time??? was there a CHD party i was unaware of. wayne,as you town hwd workers like to call him, says he has 80 people working for him..my question is where are the other 74.
Ann January 06, 2013 at 03:06 AM
Stephany trust me those are not highway workers posting. Sparaco has yet to introduce himself to the workers. As for Ballard, if he was at work once in a while he might be able to explain to the workers his reasonings for hiring Sparaco. What a shame that some of the same people on here that criticize higher taxes justify this ridiculous salary in order to ensure reelection in November.

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