11/02/13 12:00pm
11/02/2013 12:00 PM

Highway Superintendent candidates George Woodson (left) and Michael Panchak.

HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT
Salary: $84,178
Four-year term, full time

George Woodson
Incumbent
Hamlet: Riverhead
Occupation: Highway superintendent
Party lines: Democrat, Working Families, Independence

About him: Mr. Woodson, 52, was born and raised in Riverhead. He enlisted in the U.S. Army after graduating from high school in 1979. He was later hired as a laborer with the Riverhead highway department, where he rose to crew leader. He worked with the department continuously until first being elected highway superintendent in 2008. He’s also been a Riverhead Fire Department volunteer for more than 25 years and is a former chief.

His pitch: Mr. Woodson keeps a running tally of achievements from his six years in office. Among those, he lists the purchase of $3 million worth of vehicles acquired at auction for just $90,000, as well as two military snowplows that came free. He pushed for and oversaw the installation of GPS systems in town highway trucks, which helps during emergencies. He lists that he challenged and defeated the town’s practice of administrative chargebacks to the highway and other districts, resulting in almost $800,000 going back to the highway department from the general fund.

In his words: “I will continue to work hard and keep upgrading the department to the best of my ability for the residents of Riverhead and give 100 percent.”

 

Michael Panchak
Hamlet: Riverhead
Occupation: Owner of Eagle Asphalt Maintenance
Party: Conservative

About him: Mr. Panchak, 39, a lifelong Riverhead resident, owns Eagle Asphalt Maintenance in Riverhead and is a 17-year member of the Riverhead Fire Department. He has 23 years of experience in asphalt, concrete, drainage and excavation. He’s also served for 18 years as an independent snowplow contractor with the Suffolk County Department of Public Works.

His pitch: Mr. Panchak says he understands municipal contracts, cost effectiveness and budgeting, and believes he has the knowledge at the state and county level to fully understand how to best deal with issues in a cost effective manner. He also favors contracting with private snowplow companies rather than keeping and maintaining trucks that are used only a few times each year. He was nominated by the Republican Committee but knocked from the GOP line after the party didn’t file proper paperwork in time.

His words: “I have the necessary knowledge with public works projects and experience with municipalities and the state. I will bring a quality control plan to the Riverhead highway department.”

Click here to read our endorsement for highway superintendent

02/16/13 12:30pm
02/16/2013 12:30 PM
George Woodson of Riverhead

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Highway Superintendent George Woodson uses heavy equipment to clear Marcy Avenue at 4:30 last Saturday.

Two Department of Transportation officials from Long Island were suspended in the wake of last week’s snow storm that dumped as much as 30 inches of snow on the region, the Associated Press reported.

The officials were suspended 30 days without pay, the AP reported.

The Long Island Expressway was closed throughout the day last Sunday between exit 57 and Riverhead, two days after the storm.

To read more about the suspensions, click here for the story.

Click here for this week’s editorial in the News-Review on how Riverhead Town responded to the storm.

06/14/11 12:23pm
06/14/2011 12:23 PM

VERA CHINESE PHOTO | Riverhead Town Highway workers demolished a fire damaged home on Kay Road in Wading River Tuesday.

Riverhead Town Highway Department workers demolished a fire damaged home in Wading River Tuesday.

The house, located at 77 Kay Road, had caught fire in October. Neighbors said no one was living in the house at the time.

Riverhead Town Highway superintendent George Woodson said workers would likely remove the debris sometime Tuesday or Wednesday.

Mr. Woodson said the building was demolished at the request of the Riverhead Town Board.

10/31/10 7:16pm
10/31/2010 7:16 PM

Close BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO Highway superintendent Gio Woodson operates the heavy equipment Friday morning to take down the second of two 1950s era salt barns on the highway department property.

Highway superintendent Gio Woodson operates the heavy equipment Friday morning to take down the second of two 1950s era salt barns on the highway department property.

The demolition work and construction of two new barns was awarded to DeLalio-South Fork Asphalt company last month for $706,000.

Two new barns, one that will hold 500 tons and another that will hold 1,000 tons of salt will be constructed with poured foundations and canvas waterproof membrane roofs.

– BARBARAELLEN KOCH