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Oct 17, 2017 2:53 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Former Employee Challenging Gregor In Southampton Town Highway Department Race

Alex Gregor and Lance Aldrich
Oct 18, 2017 10:10 AM

Southampton Town Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor and former longtime department employee Lance Aldrich will go head to head in next month’s election for the top seat in the municipality’s highway division.

Mr. Gregor, 58, who is wrapping up his eighth year as highway superintendent, is a member of the Independence Party and has been cross-endorsed by the Democratic Party. The Hampton Bays resident, who is set to earn $109,242 for 2017, is seeking his third four-year term on Tuesday, November 7.

But to secure it he must fend off a challenge from Mr. Aldrich, a Republican who worked under Mr. Gregor as general supervisor for five years, from 2010 until 2015, until the highway superintendent requested that the position be eliminated. Prior to that decision, Mr. Aldrich had been employed in the town’s Highway Department for 32 years.

In spite of that history, Mr. Aldrich, 59, who lives in Southampton Village, said it is a lack of communication—between the Highway Department and other municipal offices and departments—that is the main reason why he has decided to challenge his former boss.

“It has to be a productive communication,” said Mr. Aldrich, who now repairs lawnmowers at his North Sea shop, Aldrich Mower Service, and also works part-time in the town’s Community Preservation Fund office as a land steward. “I think it can be done. I think if people are working together on a goal, it can be achieved.”

If elected, Mr. Aldrich said he would specifically focus on improving relations between the Highway Department and the Southampton Town Board, the Town Police, and the town’s Parks and Recreation and Waste Management departments. More specifically, he said that the Highway Department should do a better job at reaching out to the other offices.

In a recent interview, Mr. Gregor said he stands by his decision to eliminate Mr. Aldrich’s position—which accounted for $171,000 in salary and benefits—as he used the funding to hire three new employees: two drivers and a mechanic.

“The job calls for hard decisions and, again, I try to do the best for the taxpayers,” Mr. Gregor said, adding that he holds no animosity toward his former employee, or his decision to challenge him in next month’s election.

Mr. Aldrich also stressed that Mr. Gregor’s decision to eliminate his job had nothing to do with his decision to run. “It’s not a vindictive run,” he said. “We need improvements in the department.”

Mr. Gregor said he is confident he will retain his seat, pointing to the hard work he has put in over the years to maintain the town’s highway system. That work, he added, includes ensuring that the town is getting the best pricing on road projects and having more attendees attend valuable training.

“We’re doing what the public wants to see,” Mr. Gregor said. “They want to see the Highway Department out there getting the job done.”

Mr. Gregor also noted that he is proud that he often hires minorities and has one of the most diverse departments in the town. “I’m not hiring them because they are minorities,” he said. “I’m hiring them because they are good workers and I want to give them a chance.”

Though he is proud of his loose leaf collection program—a system that, Mr. Gregor said, has resulted in fewer stormwater drains being clogged by fallen leaves—Mr. Aldrich said it does not go far enough. Started by Mr. Gregor shortly after he was elected in 2010, the leaf program calls for crews to pick up fallen leaves that are placed in biodegradable paper bags. No loose leaves left curbside are taken away under the current program, as had been the case in previous years. The town, however, still makes exceptions for those over the age of 73 and disabled residents who have previously registered a hardship with the highway department.

If elected highway superintendent, Mr. Aldrich said he would lower the age requirement to 65, explaining that the age more accurately reflects when the town’s senior citizens start retiring and begin relying on fixed incomes. Those who bag their own leaves must purchase the biodegradable bags on their own.

“The leaf program should service more people,” Mr. Aldrich said.

If elected next month, Mr. Aldrich said he would initiate service programs to ensure that the town’s highway equipment is properly maintained. The former North Sea firefighter and chief, who now serves as a Southampton Village fire commissioner, said he sees too much of Mr. Gregor’s equipment breaking down. If the equipment was better maintained, Mr. Aldrich argued, there would be less need for repairs.

“It’s critical if you’re losing trucks during snow events,” Mr. Aldrich said. “That can be problematic.”

He added that he would make a point of reaching out to residents and addressing any complaints that are not being met by the current highway superintendent and his department.

“It’s a people-driven job,” said Mr. Aldrich, who started in the Highway Department in 1983 and was promoted to general supervisor after taking a civil service exam. “That’s who you work for.”

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Drain the roads dump gregor
By Dumpgregor (12), Hampton Bays on Oct 17, 17 6:17 PM
3 members liked this comment
Lance lives outside of the village and is a Southampton Fire District Commissioner.

Yaz is the Village Fire Commissioner.
By Draggerman (955), Southampton on Oct 17, 17 6:40 PM

He does a GREAT job maintaining the roads, and keeping all of us safe..

As Alex says, " Your Highway Department today is fairer. more efficient, and working for you, not the few."


By HamptonClassic (132), Southampton on Oct 17, 17 6:42 PM
How is he keeping us safe? He's done nothing but take away services, let the fleet of highway dept. trucks go to shambles, made the turn at Cromers market no safer, was totally against raising Dune Road last year but election year he is all for it, mocked the town board by handing out lumps of coal to certain members, takes no responsibility for his actions, will not return phone calls, destroyed the morale of the employees, and don't forget his favorite line "people suck" when a taxpayer request ...more
By Dumpgregor (12), Hampton Bays on Oct 18, 17 3:00 PM
People I know who have worked in the department with both men are supporting Aldrich.

So am I.

By susgeek (41), Speonk on Oct 17, 17 7:11 PM
Give him a chance..Vote for Lance!
By Toma Noku (616), Southampton on Oct 17, 17 7:59 PM
3 members liked this comment
Lance is respected by the personnel, has worked in the field, and possesses the hands on training and job skills to perform in the position quite admirably.

He's got my support as well.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Oct 17, 17 8:06 PM
Gotta go with Lance...
By Draggerman (955), Southampton on Oct 17, 17 8:32 PM
3 members liked this comment
The lack of proper curbs and sidewalks in such a affluent town is actually deplorable. At a meeting with Gregor his reply actually was “if there are no curbs now then I won’t be putting any new ones. The residents can pay for them though.”
By Mouthampton (439), Southampton on Oct 17, 17 8:33 PM
My job transferred to Southampton about 20 years ago and I love to drive the country roads. In the last few years, I've noticed that the roads have improved tremendously, as to safety and drivability. THANK YOU ALEX GREGOR.

ALEX GREGOR deserves our support .... VOTE for ALEX GREGOR

By SpeedRacer (160), Southampton on Oct 17, 17 10:10 PM
You obviously don't drive in North Sea.
By cormac (3), southampton on Oct 18, 17 3:22 PM
2 members liked this comment
Where does Lance stand on the Tuckahoe Road proposal and Shinnecock Hills Golf Club?
By adamg123 (2), East Quogue on Oct 18, 17 5:58 AM
It really doesn't matter what he thinks since Highway Super has no say. If the Town board decides to move the road then the Planning Super comes up with designs hopefully works with Highway Super then the Town Board votes on the final decision.
By auntof9 (159), Southampton on Oct 19, 17 11:10 PM
1 member liked this comment
If you think the town’s roadways are managed well, then vote for Gregor. Then, get your head examined for thinking the roads are managed well
By SlimeAlive (1181), Southampton on Oct 18, 17 6:00 AM
1 member liked this comment
Lance is as genuine as they get! He has my vote!
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Oct 18, 17 7:00 AM
3 members liked this comment
I'll dance with Lance.
By foodwhiner (148), Southampton on Oct 18, 17 9:30 AM
Lance will work with the Town Board and departments unlike the present superintendent who does not know his job duties. A Highway Superintendent is elected to properly MAINTAIN Town roads by SUPERVISING his staff. His job is not to be a part of the legislative body that sets Town laws & policies. Alex seems to be wasting time and money on legislative tasks and not performing his elected duties. Alex should run for Town Board if he wants to be a legislator and leave the Highway Superintendent job ...more
By A Great American (103), East Quogue on Oct 18, 17 5:13 PM
What does this entail?

"works part-time in the town’s Community Preservation Fund office as a land steward."
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Oct 18, 17 5:23 PM
1 member liked this comment
32 years in the highway department Laboer working his way up as a foreman, general foreman, and deputy highway superintendent. Lance knows the job and what needs to be done. Experience does count.
By A Great American (103), East Quogue on Oct 18, 17 9:59 PM
Were you responding to my question? I asked about his current part-time job. What exactly is a 'land steward' for CPF?

By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Oct 19, 17 7:50 AM
Ask the head of the CPF.
By auntof9 (159), Southampton on Oct 19, 17 11:12 PM
I was asking someone who is on this thread who is supporting him and should know. Lots of mention of his experience so it would seem that someone would know what experience he has through his position at CPF. It wasn't a trick question or a politically motivated question.

I guess no one here knows or they would have responded with an answer to the question.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Oct 20, 17 9:46 AM
Can you look this up and tell us what the position entails please, BB
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Oct 20, 17 2:05 PM
Why? Don't the supporters of Lance know? Again, my question was not a trick question nor politically motivated. I wanted to know and figured those who know about Lance and his experience, which is leading them to support him, would know. It seems that isn't the case.

Feel free to do the research yourself since you'd like to know adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Oct 20, 17 5:15 PM
Lance's supporters might know.

i'm not sure they need to tell you though. Since you brought it up here i think that you should look it up and share with us. Please do. Can you let us know by tomorrow morning, now i'm interested.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Oct 20, 17 5:55 PM
The news article brought it up. I didn't realize that after having his high paying job go away he ended up with a new one until I read it here. In case you couldn't follow along, I was asking a Lance supporter but they didn't answer the seemingly easy question and now appear to have left. Or don't have an answer. None of the other Lance supporters have responded either.

You are right though, they don't have to tell me. They also don't have to tell me who to vote for but yet they did. ...more
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Oct 21, 17 6:37 AM
We don't know what you're trying to hide BB, can you just answer the question already. Your dodging is really starting to bother people here.

You really need to figure out what the CPF experience entails. Please reach out to Lance directly ASAP - this comments section is not a place to find answers. You've created a pretty big mess that you'll need to clean up in order to restore your reputation here.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Oct 21, 17 8:54 AM
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Oct 21, 17 11:41 AM
adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp you are absolutely correct. This clearly isn't the place to find answers. Just lots of of personal opinions.

again with the non-response response. LOL
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Oct 21, 17 11:42 AM
If you don't answer the question i'm going to suggest that the moderator of this site ban you.

We've all had enough of you stirring things up and not following through. Please answer the question already.
By adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp (747), southampton on Oct 21, 17 11:58 AM
adlkjd923ilifmac.aladfksdurwp do what you must.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Oct 23, 17 11:33 PM
I had a problem a few years ago with my road and met with Gregor. He was rude and arrogant. Talked down to me and had no idea what he was talking about. My vote is definetly Aldrich!
By GoldenBoy (351), EastEnd on Oct 18, 17 8:47 PM
I would add abrasive and short tempered. Reminds me of Chief Lutz from Beverly Hills Cop 3.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Oct 18, 17 8:58 PM
1 member liked this comment
Give Lance a chance!
By lilmicshay (2), Southampton on Oct 19, 17 11:17 AM
$171,000 per year for a highway dept supervisor? Did anybody else notice that everything Lance is offering will require an increase in the Highway Dept budget which translates to more taxes? Alex has held the line and put a stop to Schiderman's give aways. Lance's support from other unions spells also spells more taxes. Sorry Lance, can't afford you.
By bird (829), Sag Harbor on Oct 19, 17 2:24 PM
Bird you are wrong on just about everything. One of Alex’s stooges spreading false news. Probably the same stooge that was stealing GOP signs last night. Funny little rumor I heard at the post office. Had to see for myself so I checked. Dem signs still up GOP signs all down. So petty grow up people
By GoldenBoy (351), EastEnd on Oct 19, 17 4:31 PM
1 member liked this comment
You are saying that the article is inaccurate? Certainly wouldn't be the first time.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Oct 19, 17 4:36 PM
GB - Interesting that you say I am wrong but then go off on a completely different tangent without explaining why I am wrong. Typical of political operatives. When you can't refute the message, attack the messenger. Truth is I may be wrong. I got my information from the article above. Is the article wrong? Did I read it wrong?

* $171,000 / year - y or n?
* Expanded leaf program = larger budget = more taxes - y or n?
* Cozy with the union. After contract negotiations were complete, ...more
By bird (829), Sag Harbor on Oct 20, 17 7:25 AM
On another note, it is sad that we are just a couple of weeks from elections and this is one of only a couple of articles on the candidates. How about some articles on all the candidates running for local office with some background and their positions. Or maybe questioners with tough questions the candidates could complete and return. It seems like a lack of due diligence by the fourth estate helps lead to the divisive, party oriented politics that are destroying our great country.
By bird (829), Sag Harbor on Oct 20, 17 7:32 AM
1 member liked this comment
I agree, there hasn't been much coverage.

I also find it interesting that people complain about Schneiderman (and others) being a career politician having jumped from one position in the County/Town to another. Yet, there isn't the same criticism for someone who does the same thing, although in appointed positions. Lance's first salary at the Town seems out of whack when you see what the Superintendent makes. When he lost that he went to a part time position in CPF.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Oct 20, 17 9:56 AM
1 member liked this comment
Seethruny...$120k top salary for Lance in that position. The rest was OT & bennies. After 30 years on the job...that's what he maxed to. New people start at less for the same job.

By foodwhiner (148), Southampton on Oct 23, 17 9:01 AM
To Captain Obvious - At what bar did you and your band of silly bloggers meet with Lance Aldrich and come up with this attack campaign on HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT ALEX GREGOR?

ALEX GREGOR has done a great job maintaining our roads and keeping them safe, especially in winter.

ALEX GREGOR earned our support ... VOTE FOR ALEX GREGOR.

By SpeedRacer (160), Southampton on Oct 19, 17 7:46 PM
Your obviously getting something out the deal!

Southampton roadways are a disgrace! Litter everywhere! Garbage cans overflowing! Which begs for more and only teaches all who come here to do the same.

Shameful! Take Gregor down!
By simpleglamour (18), southatmpon on Oct 21, 17 9:11 AM
What do we really want when it comes to roads? Pave them, plow them, brine them, clean the drains, remove dead trees in the town right of ways, clean-up accident debris, put up and remove parade barriers, etc,etc. As for leaves and brush? Pick them up. Get equipment and man power to pick them up! When it comes to plows, trucks and equipment? Maintain the damn eqipment. Hire qualified mechanics. Hire a manager who has the skills to oversee the mechanics since Lance is a mechanic. Have a manager like ...more
By auntof9 (159), Southampton on Oct 19, 17 11:28 PM
The yearly salary is 107k, people want more leaf pickup, as far as the Union is concerned that was a political grandstand by Alex we all know it( don’t forget he accepted his raise), and replace your word “cozy” with a good relationship, which Alex has none of with anyone in the town which prohibits him from getting the job done efficiently. And Kiernan had nothing to with Kabot. Strange you would bring that up on a Highway Superintendent thread makes no sense. Political operative ...more
By GoldenBoy (351), EastEnd on Oct 20, 17 7:45 AM
Sadly, if you 'follow the news' you still don't get the actual 'facts'. Most stories are riddled with mistakes.
By bb (922), Hampton Bays on Oct 20, 17 9:53 AM
Since gregor changed the leaf program the highway budget has not reduced, so technically the money is still there, it's just a matter of spending money wisely. Don't forget gregor spent $40,000 dollars of taxpayer money on lawyers so $12,000 in raises and benefits wouldn't be give to highway employees, which he, they deputy superintendent of highways, and gregors confidential secretary gladly accepted!!!That is not wise spending in my book.
By Dumpgregor (12), Hampton Bays on Oct 20, 17 10:49 AM
2 members liked this comment
Don't comment on here to often but it sure seems like Alex has rubbed alot of people the wrong way. I don't live in the town but reading all of these comments it sure seems like Gregor has alot to worry about. He shouldn't feel like such a shoe-inn. Lastly I do believe there is a bit of bitterness coming from Aldrich but who wouldn't. He has plenty of experience in the Highway Department, Hope he wins!!!!!!
By letskeepitreal (15), sagharbor on Oct 20, 17 6:12 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By simpleglamour (18), southatmpon on Oct 21, 17 9:06 AM
Lance worked for SH Town, not gregor. He was his supervisor, nothing but the facts Amanda.
Also has more knowledge of the road ways...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Oct 21, 17 7:13 PM
To the band of Merry Fools, in their tights, who follow Lance through the woods of Southampton,.. you got to give Lance a tankard of Ale.
I came home early from the Hampton Bays Debate, but I was there to see Lance's poor performance... what a bore! He could have just had somebody read his yellow pad notes ... they might have been more interesting.

One great idea Lance had was ... Use the $1,000,000 to start the Dunes Project and when everyone see what a great start we did , they will ...more
By SpeedRacer (160), Southampton on Oct 23, 17 11:12 PM
I was also at the meeting. Lance did read/refer to his notes because he was introducing himself to people that did not know him. You may have misunderstood his comments about Dune Rd. He said, we should have used the money for piping/drainage then get grants to complete the paving project.
By auntof9 (159), Southampton on Oct 25, 17 5:03 PM
I can't believe the people here badmouthing Alex - My roads are perfect and the one time I did have a problem a simple email to him was able to resolve the issue within an hour.

I have zero bad things to say about his opponent but I will say that Alex Gregor has proven to me to be competent and is not corrupt.

He has my vote!
By DisgustedHamptons (58), Hampton Bays on Oct 24, 17 3:09 AM
2 members liked this comment
Pssst, DH! Suggest you ask anyone in the Highway Department who had to work with Alex during the short time he was there and actually showed up!

And to SpeedRacer -- Lance may not be a dynamic speaker, but he's a heck of a worker and knows his stuff, something the incumbent is still trying to figure out all these years later.

By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Oct 24, 17 4:36 AM
Mr. Gregor spent a million dollars and put over million pounds of asphalt on Dune rd. Now instead of being 15 inches underwater at times its only eight inches. Now that's progress.
By HB salvation (27), Hampton bays on Oct 25, 17 10:28 PM
As a resident of East Quogue this is why I will be voting for Lance Aldrich. After doing my homework this is exactly why I will be showing my support for Lance.

Things Mr. Gregor has done:

-Quit town as an employee with no notice. Walked right out on the town

- 10 inches of asphalt on Dune Road. Complete joke. Paving roads that is going to be washed away in no time with water surge and erosion just to appease the rich.

- Got rid of leaf program. This was very ...more
By turkeyloser (22), east quogue on Oct 26, 17 6:49 AM
2 members liked this comment
I had a project on which I was working several years ago....met with Mr, Aldrich and he was helpful and informative. I had to go back again and he was not there...I was referred to Mr. Gregor. He was, to say the least, difficult and abrubt. I relayed this to my employer, thinking perhaps he wasn't used to dealing with a woman. He spoke with him and found the same attitude. Someone in that position needs to deal with various departments, as well as the public with respect and cooperation. Mr. ...more
By 16945 (15), Riverhead on Oct 26, 17 2:40 PM
1 member liked this comment
It appears most people are unhappy with job Mr. Gregor has done. Mr. Aldrich is home grown and knows the area well. He has 30 years experience with that department. It seems that Mr Aldrich is more interested with helping the taxpayer than Mr. Gregor who thinks he is King and only deals with the elite. I went to high school with Mr. Aldrich and from what people are saying about him now are hoe he has always been, a caring and competent individual. If you are unhappy with the way roads are maintained ...more
By Walt (292), Southampton on Oct 29, 17 12:04 PM
1 member liked this comment