Wheeler election pits Comstock against Trenchard

Mary Perham

It is probably safe to say the liveliest local contest in Steuben County is the one for highway superintendent in the town of Wheeler.

Recently appointed Highway Superintendent Alan Trenchard, 48, and former Highway Superintendent Randy Comstock, 52, are vying for the remaining year of the two-year term of office.

The two met in the September Republican Primary, where Trenchard secured the GOP line by an 11-vote margin, 101-90. Trenchard also is running on the Friends of the Town independent line.

Comstock had been the highway superintendent from January 2008 until the end of 2011, when he was defeated by write-in candidate Chester Lewis. Lewis resigned, and was replaced by Trenchard last July.

A look at both candidates:

Randy Comstock

Related highway experience:  Worked for the Town of Avoca Highway Department, for four years; Town of Wheeler Highway Department for three-four years, worked as auto mechanic until he was elected Wheeler Highway Superintendent in November 2007. He now works for Sonny’s in Avoca.

Looking ahead at road issues: “We need to get out back there and get the roads fixed again, make sure the roads are in good shape and safe, keep obstructions off the road and improve morale.”

How will you solve them? “Stay in budget and keep the equipment up to quality standards. If we keep the roads in good shape, we can attract businesses that will improve our tax base.”

Other: Comstock is working on getting a CDL permit.

Alan Trenchard

Related highway experience: His family has been in construction; he owned and operated Trenchard Fencing; he was shop foreman at Arkport Truck and worked there for 25 years in truck and heavy-diesel repair.

Looking ahead at road issues: “The biggest concern for the future is how are you going to improve the roads the best you can, with the money you have. I’d like to see more oil and stone used on all the major dirt roads. Next year I want to work on Clark Hill and Hemlock Road.”

How will you solve them? “Keep the roads we have kept up and maintain the roads we have with the funds we’re given. I don’t want to see the taxes go up. Now, with the choices you make, there’s always going to be hindsight and I have to answer for that. But how do you have a five year plan, when the term is only two years?”

Other: Has Class A CDL.