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Apr 8, 2009 1:16 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Bill Masterson says he will retire after 20 years of service

Apr 8, 2009 1:16 PM

Southampton Town Highway Superintendent Bill Masterson announced this week that he will not seek a sixth term of office, almost immediately sparking rumors that he could possibly retire early to give an unnamed Republican successor an advantage in the November election.

Mr. Masterson, who has served as highway superintendent for the past 19 years, said this week that he has no plans to step down early in order to give the Southampton Town Republican Party an advantage come November. The 66-year-old Republican, who nearly lost his reelection bid the last time he ran in 2005, said he intends to retire after completing his fifth term of office on December 31.

“I’ve been mulling it over with my wife,” said Mr. Masterson, who has headed up the highway department for almost 20 years. “It’s been a great run, but it’s time.”

Marcus Stinchi, the chairman of the Southampton Town Republican Party, also rejected the notion that the GOP would ask Mr. Masterson to step down before his four-year term expires at the end of the year. Mr. Stinchi added that asking Mr. Masterson to step down before his term expires is not something that the party chairman would support.

“As far as I know, he plans to serve out his term,” Mr. Stinchi said. Unless he suffers some unforeseen illness, Mr. Masterson “has no plans to step down,” he added.

The chairman explained that the Republican Party is now screening potential candidates, and any possible GOP successor to Mr. Masterson would not be announced until the party’s nominating convention, tentatively scheduled for May 18.

“I’m grateful to Masterson for his long tenure of service to the town,” Mr. Stinchi said.

Mr. Masterson, who has lived in Southampton for 42 years, said that he plans on spending time with his family, especially with two of his grandsons who live out of state.

The most challenging aspect of the job, Mr. Masterson said this week, has been picking up leaves—a task that, in his view, the highway department should not be responsible for.

“People don’t understand why we can’t get to their leaves,” he said. “But we have 450 miles of roads and, this year, we had 11 snowstorms. Plowing the roads takes [priority] over leaves,” Mr. Masterson added, explaining that the same vehicles that pick up leaves plow the snow.

The highway superintendent said he does not think the town should be removing leaves because it is such a time-consuming task. “It takes up far too much time,” he said. “At least 40 percent of my time is picking up leaves.”

The most gratifying part of his two decades of public service, Mr. Masterson said, has been the way in which his department has responded to emergencies, citing the 1996 blizzard as an example. “The men and women in this department worked 41 hours straight with no complaints,” he said. “They really stood up.”

Southampton Town Supervisor Linda Kabot said that Mr. Masterson “ran a tight ship” and did a good job keeping the roads safe, especially during and after major storms.

“I’d say the number one complaint we get has to do with the state of the roads,” Ms. Kabot said. “And he was able to get the job done. We acknowledge his long years of dedicated service and we wish him well.”

Though the GOP has not yet selected a candidate to run in November, Mr. Masterson said his successor will inherit the challenge of repaving the town’s roads.

“There was a time when these back roads were nothing but farm roads, and now people are building mega-mansions on them,” Mr. Masterson said. “And, of course, everybody thinks the road they live on is priority.”

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The Town's roads are trashed. Worse than ever. Monumental task to bring them up to speed. Should have bought the ashphalt when it was cheap.

11 snowstorms? I missed ten of them.
By William Rodney (555), southampton on Apr 8, 09 10:38 AM
I wish they would have sanded Gleason Dr. in East Quogue where it crosses over the RR tracks on the evening of December 13 , 2007. It was icy rain /sleet coming down. My Ford Windstar slipped off the road onto the RR tracks. I was unable to get it off.Train came along 10 minutes later and demolished my vehicle.
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on Apr 8, 09 1:06 PM
...like in the movies.
By William Rodney (555), southampton on Apr 8, 09 1:46 PM
Mr Masterson you described your term in office as 'A GREAT RUN"are you for real,look around you pot hole after pot hole,,you have funding to repair the roads but YOU decided to not hold the the contractors to their repaving contracts ,they would not make a suffeciant profit,,,,,,shame on you,,pick the leaves up,,,leaves like potholes are thing we see and you and the department you were elected and well paid failed in both areas,,a great run what arrogance
By Tianard (6), Hampton Bays on Apr 8, 09 5:30 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By lirider (288), Westhampton Beach on Apr 8, 09 6:34 PM
Masterson was done four years ago because he received the lowest number of votes of any Republican in 05', winning by a nail-biting 285 votes. Masterson this year admitted to the Town Board that he did not pave our roads because it would have cost the paving companies too much money even though the town had contract prices locked. I hope that we can get someone who will do the job for the people of the town rather than a same new Republican paving company owner.
By SHNative (554), Southampton on Apr 8, 09 11:24 PM
Bill-thanks for a job well done. Good luck !!!!!
By westhamptonboy (227), Westhampton on Apr 9, 09 12:43 PM
Good riddance.
By slamminsammy (104), Hampton Bays on Apr 9, 09 12:58 PM
let the leaves fall in the road then you WILL have to pick them up,and bill when you retire your road will be priority also just like the rest of the whinners.good luck and enjoy your retirement
By pinga (90), hamptonbays on Apr 10, 09 6:18 PM
Did you all see in the above artical tha Lina Kabot stated that Bill got the job done,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,maby he got the job done but he did not get the roads done,,as she will fid out if she has the nerve to run again for public office
By Tianard (6), Hampton Bays on Apr 10, 09 6:21 PM
Bills Time has finally come and now its time to move on. There are some very capable people in the wings to take his place. Some of which have the needed experience that we all have been waiting for. Unfortunately, they couldn't step on Bills leaves.
By nazz (22), Flanders on Apr 11, 09 4:39 PM
You guys try to keep some of the winners the town employs in line...see how well you do. He wasnt alone ya know.
By squeaky (291), hampton bays on Apr 16, 09 1:27 PM
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