Albany, NY - January 23, 2017 - The New York State County Highway Superintendents Association (NYSCHSA) elected George P. Spanos, P.E., President of NYSCHSA at its Annual Winter Conference and Tradeshow held last week at the Radisson Hotel, Albany, NY. Spanos is the Director of Public Facilities for Chautauqua County.
“We in New York have an opportunity this year, working with our state elected leaders, to build on the state’s 5 Year Capital Plan to better reflect the needs of the local transportation systems and prioritizes these needs in the state budget for the next several years,” Spanos said. “I will continue our Association’s focus on what is in the best interest of our constituencies, the people that travel on our roads and bridges and to advocate for the resources necessary for us all to get the job done on their behalf.”
Mr. Spanos was appointed Director of Public Facilities for his county in 2004. Prior to that, he was Director of Engineering for the County. His 30 years of public service was preceded by work in the private sector as an engineer.
Spanos paid tribute to outgoing association President Tracy J. Eldridge: “I would like to highlight the great strides our association has made under your leadership on collaboration with the NYS Association of Town Superintendents of Highways and on the work we do with legislators and all stakeholders to heighten the awareness of the condition of our highways and bridges and the need for funding,” he told Eldridge.
“I'm proud to have served the New York State County Highway Superintendent's Association over the last year,” said Eldridge. “As President, George will take the lead of an Association that is a strong advocate for a safe and efficient road and bridge network and will effectively work with our elected leaders and other stakeholders to further these goals.” As part of the conference’s business, Charles (Skip) Vezzetti, Superintendent of Highways for Rockland County, was elevated to NYSCHSA First Vice President.
“I want to thank NYS Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew Driscoll who highlighted this week’s program,” Spanos said. “The Commissioner continues to demonstrate his understanding of the needs of not only the state system but also the local road system and how important it is to our mutual constituencies throughout the state. It’s great to have the State Department of Transportation as a partner in our efforts.”
Local roads and bridges account for 87% of the roads, 50% of the bridges and 48% of the vehicle mileage logged in New York State. They are a vital and indispensable part of the overall transportation infrastructure. With the cost of materials, labor and equipment spiking over the past several years, funding levels have not kept up with the demands of an aging and ailing local transportation system.
NYSCHSA is a non-profit organization whose county superintendents, public works commissioners and affiliate members have been gathering for over 100 years to share knowledge and experience, and to build professional networks and relationships. NYSCHSA recognizes that having a modern system of roads, bridges and culverts in New York State must be a priority. Enhanced investment in our transportation infrastructure will help to ensure the continued safety and functionality of our roads and bridges and will secure New York’s competitiveness for economic development and job creation.
“I will work hard as I always have to see that our local highway departments throughout the state get the resources that they need to maintain our vast systems of roads, bridges and culverts for the benefit and safety of the travelling public,” Spanos concluded.