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Orangetown Highway Superintendent Continues Family Tradition

Photo by Niall O'Gara
Photo by Niall O'Gara
Orangetown Highway Superintendent Jim Dean called his grandchildren up to join him as he took his oath of office during Tuesday'sOrangetown Reorganization Meeting.

Dean explained that a different family member has held the Bible each time he has taken his oath, something that started with his wife, Dottie. This time it was granddaughter Jamie's turn. 

"Dottie has been my support for the last 53 years," said Dean, who has worked with the Orangetown Highway Department for that period of time. "I wouldn’t be able to do the things I do if it wasn’t for her. She has always encouraged me to do what makes me happy. That’s a great thing to have. To have family members here do the same thing. Jamie held the Bible this year. This is the first year she has had the opportunity to vote for me. She turned 18. She is number eight to hold the bible. My wife did it first. Every election since then, I’ve been fortunate enough to know I’ve got at least one extra vote because one of my grandchildren turned 18. I appreciate that.

"The scary thing is I still have five more (grandchildren) to go. Next time I have two guys (turning 18) at the same time. I don’t know if we’ll be able to make it all the way through, but I certainly appreciate everybody’s support."

Dean, Town Clerk Charlotte Madigan, Receiver of Taxes Bob Simon and Town Justice Richard Finning all took their oaths of office Tuesday after being re-elected in November. All ran unopposed.

"It’s something I love and I really do appreciate it. It is an honor to be elected again," Dean said. "I don’t kid myself. I know the reason I get elected is we have an excellent department. The men and women of the Orangetown Highway department are dedicated. They work hard every day. Whatever the weather conditions, whatever the circumstances, they do their jobs. That makes me look good, so thank you very much."

Video of Dean's comments can be found here. Simon, whose remarks can be found here, also spoke about his enjoyment of his job as well as its impending end. Orangetown will eliminate the tax receiver's office and consolidate it into the town clerk's office as of Jan. 1, 2018. 

"As many of you know, this wil be my last term as receiver," Simon said. "Come Jan. 1, 2018, my office will be consolidated into the town clerk’s office. It will be the duty of the town clerk to continue with the duties and services that I now provide.

At end of my term, I will have given 20 years of service, starting in the assessor’s office and ending of receiver. Until then, the receiver’s office will continue to uphold the highest standard, which the residents of Orangetown are accustomed to."

For video from Madigan's remarks, click here. She focused on the connections she has made over the years. The former Pearl River School District Board of Education member also said she wished she had as much opportunity to connect with young people in Orangetown as she used to. 

"It is such a pleasure to have met so many people, so many residents in the town," Madigan said. "I feel like I have made so many friends. I don’t know one can be so lucky to serve such a fabulous group. One group I do miss are the children. We did as elected officials get around a bit more with the D.A.R.E. program. I do miss that and I would love to see something come back so we can address the young people and be closer to them in the school system. "

Finning was sworn in last and joked about making a very long speech before keeping his remarks short. 

"The good news is I’m the last speaker," Finning said. "The bad news is I have a five-hour speech on the early English common law. Actually, Charlotte said if I gave that speech, there would be no cake for me. The only person more powerful than a man with black robes is a woman with a red scarf.

"I appreciate your returning me to the office of town justice. I will do my very best to continue to fairly and firmly administer justice in the Town of Orangetown." 

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