James Gulick wins GOP primary for Monroe highway superintendent

| 22 Feb 2012 | 01:50

    700 to 37 advantage from KJ voters provides the winning edge MONROE -The turnout by voters in September primaries is usually relatively low. This year’s primary results, however, were a blockbuster for the only office on the Monroe ballot. There were three candidates running for highway superintendent to fill the unexpired term of office vacated by the late Roy Montanye. In the run-off for the Republican candidate, James A. Gulick defeated Frank Beams by a vote of 934 to 519. There were five write-in votes. Charles Mancuso, who ran on the Conservative ticket, received 24 votes. There were 23 write-in votes. Mancuso and Gulick will now square off in the November election. There is no Democratic candidate. “My heartfelt thanks to all the people who worked on my campaign,” Beams said Wednesday morning, “but most of all to the residents of the unincorporated Town of Monroe, Village of Monroe and Village of Harriman - who made their statement clear - I was their choice.” In those areas, Beams tallied 482 votes while Gulick received 234. Gulick’s advantage came from voters in the Village of Kiryas Joel, where he received 700 votes. Beams got 37. Gulick is a 35-year Monroe resident, and a member of Local Union 373, Plumbers and Steamfitters, who served as foreman and journeyman for 30 years. “I am just happy I won the primary and am looking forward to the election,” he said. According to the interim town highway chief Bob Picinotti, the Monroe Highway Department is responsible for the maintenance of approximately 42 linear miles of roads in the Town of Monroe and for approximately 12 linear miles in the Village of Kiryas Joel. He stressed that these figures are estimates. These roads also do not reflect the number of private roads in either municipality. The highway contract between the two municipalities was recently re-negotiated. Councilman Harley Doles said the new agreement guarantees funding for the next five years. Doles said at the time it would have meant the loss of two or three union positions. At a later town board meeting, councilman James Rogers, who was the lone dissenter when the town voted the new contract, called it a “sweeheart deal” for Kiryas Joel. Impact “You would think people would come out and vote,” said former councilman and Monroe GOP chairman Donald Weeks following the vote. “Maybe it’s not that important to people how the roads are maintained and snow plowed in the winter. “We’re talking about a tremendously big job, the highway superintendent - no matter who wins, at least, the people should voice their opinion like they do in Kiryas Joel. “Granted they are told who to vote for. But, at least they do it,” said Weeks. Looking at previous elections, where Kiryas Joel has been a block vote, residents could see how the tide was turning, Weeks said. “People bitch and complain , yet when they have the opportunity to make a difference, you think it would encourage them to get out and vote,” Weeks said. By the numbers Here is the unofficial vote breakdown from Tuesday’s GOP primary in Monroe: From the Village of Kiryas Joel Frank Beams : 37 James Gulick: 700 From all districts in the village and town of Monroe excluding Kiryas Joel Frank Beams: 482 James Gulick: 234 Townwide totals Frank Beams: 519 James A. Gulick: 934 Monroe voters There are 18,107 registered voters in the town of Monroe. Broken down by party, they are: Republican: 7,307 Democratic: 5,799 Independent: 1,391 Conservative: 275 Working Party: 44 Green Party: 41 Libetarian: 1 Other: 36