Dave Trane has announced he is seeking the Lewiston Town Board's appointment as town highway superintendent. Additionally, he is running for the office in the November election.
The position has been vacant since February, with the death of Douglas Janese, who was re-elected last November in a narrow victory over Trane. Town highway employee Jeff Cosgrove has been running the department on an interim basis since that time.
"I have made no public remarks up until now on the position out of respect for the Janese family," Trane said. "But now is the time to publicly announce my interest in being appointed highway superintendent and running in the election this November."
Trane is a retired Niagara Falls firefighter. Prior to that service, he worked for the New York State Department of Transportation for 10 years. During his time with the DOT, Trane worked as a laborer, equipment operator and crew chief.
"I certainly know the work of road maintenance and construction, and I can use those experiences to quickly move into the leadership position in the Lewiston Highway Department," Trane said.
Trane has earned New York state code enforcement officers certificates for general construction principles and also has taken numerous courses at Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations focusing on public employee law. Trane served as vice president and president of Local 714, the Niagara Falls Firefighters Association.
"My background in labor relations is an important credential in managing the Highway Department," Trane said. "We need to tap into the experience and dedication of our workforce to assure the most productive and efficient services for the people of Lewiston."
The Lewiston Town Board has the authority to appoint an individual to fill the vacancy for highway superintendent until the special election in November.
"I only ask that the board makes its decision based on the credentials of the applicants for the position," Trane said. "But it must be noted that, as the Democratic candidate for highway superintendent in last November's election, I lost by the slimmest of margins - only seven votes. If the board looks at credentials and not partisan considerations, along with my proven support of the people of Lewiston, I am the logical choice for Lewiston highway superintendent; fully capable of taking on this important office."
When contacted Friday, Supervisor Steve Broderick said Trane discussed the matter with him, but a formal request has yet to be made. No action has been taken by the board.
"I've talked to him; we haven't made up our minds yet," Broderick said, noting he has also discussed the position with Jeff Rose, who also sought the highway superintendent's seat in last fall's election.
Broderick said he's been pleased thus far with Cosgrove's work, and he was still learning and reviewing all town matters, including appointments.
Broderick did, however, voice support for Trane.
"If we are going to appoint a replacement, he would be a strong candidate," Broderick said.
Broderick said he didn't anticipate any action on the matter prior to June 1.
Editor-in-Chief Terry Duffy contributed to this report.