The Town of North Hempstead appointed Richard Baker as the new highway superintendent at a board meeting Feb. 28, filling a role that has been vacated since late 2016.
Baker has 30 years of experience in public works, according to the town, having worked as a special projects supervisor with Suffolk County, a fleet consolidation administrator with the New York City Department of Sanitation and public works commissioner for the Town of Islip.
“I look forward to working with the supervisor, town board members and the dedicated employees of the town’s highway department,” Baker said.
Thomas Tiernan, the town’s former highway superintendent, had resigned in 2016 following reports in Newsday that he had amassed more than $130,000 in overtime between 2011 and 2016 and an internal investigation of the highway department by the town.
The position is no longer eligible for overtime pay.
Joe Geraci, the deputy commissioner of public works, served as the town’s acting highway superintendent from 2016 to September 2018, when the town officially began its search for a full-time superintendent. Kevin Cronin has since been the acting commissioner.
“After a very thorough search for a qualified candidate, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Richard Baker, who possesses the experience, professionalism and leadership skills necessary to oversee our highway department,” Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said. “I know that he understands serving our residents and keeping our roads safe are among our top priorities.”
The superintendent oversees the highway department, which is responsible for the maintenance and repair of 300 miles worth of town roadways, street sweeping, sign instance, snow removal and flood control, according to the town’s website.