B y Derek Liebig
Three candidates will vie for the position of highway superintendent in Hampton on Tuesday.
Although five positions will appear on next week’s ballot, only the position of highway superintendent will be contested.
Incumbent Francis Baker will be challenged by town councilman Herbert Sady Jr. and Joseph Williams.
Baker will run on the “We the People” platform, Williams on the “Time for Change” ticket and Sady on the Republican and Conservative parties ticket lines.
Sady received the Republican endorsement last month despite the fact that Baker was a Republican incumbent.
Members of the party acknowledged Baker has done a fine job, but believe Sady brings new ideas and a fresh perspective.
Baker has served three consecutive terms and six terms overall since first being elected as highway superintendent in 1998.
The only time he has lost an election during that time was in 2007, when he was narrowly defeated by Walter Douglas, a result that was ultimately decided by several absentee ballots.
He defeated Williams by 38 votes in 2009 and Matt Thomas by 35 votes in 2011. In both instances, his challengers were write-in candidates.
Sady, 53, is a retired correction officer and has been a member of the town council since 2009.
He has managerial experience from his time working with the state and extensive experience in heavy equipment operation and construction.
Williams, who grew up in the Hampton-Poultney area, owns his own excavation company and has more than three decades of road construction experience.
He was an active volunteer during the construction of the community’s Town Hall.
The position of highway superintendent has been debated in Hampton in recent years.
In 2011, the town board considered changing the position from an elected one to an appointed one.
At the time, some officials argued that the town could save money by making the highway superintendent a working position and thus get by with a smaller staff.
Currently, the highway department consists of Baker and two full-time employees.
After an overwhelming show of public support for Baker and for keeping the position elected one, officials decided not to put the matter up for a vote.
Also on Tuesday’s ballot are the positions of town justice, town council, town clerk and tax collector, but all are uncontested and present little intrigue.
Andrea Sweeney and former councilman and Supervisor Don Sady are running for two four-year terms on town council. Current board member Dave Perry is not seeking reelection nor is Herb Sady, who instead made the decision to run for highway superintendent.
Both Sweeney and Sady are running unopposed.
Darlene Sady is running for another term as town justice, and barring the emergence of a write-in candidate will be reelected to another four years on the bench. Rebecca Jones and Cam Shaw, both incumbents, are seeking to be reelected as town clerk and tax collector, respectively.
Residents of Hampton can cast their ballots at the Hampton Town Hall on Route 22A.