Clifton Park names new superintendent of highways

Cady Kuzmich/Gazette Reporter
Dahn Bull smiles as town board members appoint him as Clifton Park's new Highway Superintendent Monday, November 21, 2016.Cady Kuzmich/Gazette Reporter Dahn Bull smiles as town board members appoint him as Clifton Park's new Highway Superintendent Monday, November 21, 2016.

— Dahn Bull, the town’s former director of communications took over the role of the town’s Highway Superintendent Sunday November 27. Bull’s appointment was approved by the town board at the Monday, November 21 Town Board meeting.

Bull, 30, said he has worked closely with Town Supervisor Phil Barrett and the Town Board for three years.

“Here in Town Hall, I have been the communications director as well as the IT network administrator, liaison for community development and aquatics director. I have worked with the highway superintendent closely over the past two years assisting town residents with road and storm sewer improvements, as well as coordinating sanitary sewer and water districts throughout Clifton Park,” Bull said.

He previously worked in the New York State Assembly under Assemblyman James Tedisco for four years. Bull is taking over the position from Rick Kukuk, who has held the post for 12 years.

Kukuk announced his retirement in October, and his last day on the job will be Nov. 27.

The highway superintendent’s position is an elected position in the town. Kukak’s four-year term expires in December 2017, so the Town Board has the ability to appoint someone to fill the remainder of the term.

As the town’s director of communications, Bull earned $46,311 this year. Supervisor Phil Barrett was not available to comment on the highway superintendent’s salary, though Kukuk earned $87,349 in his final year on the job — up from $68,426 in 2009.

Bull said he has ideas to make the Highway Department more efficient.

“Some of the ways I’ve been streamlining practices here at Town Hall would really help over there,” he said. “I think my experience in doing more with less and cutting costs is really going to help.”

Assessment and inventory are at the top of Bull’s list of priorities.

“We have to get a really good handle on what our workers can do and how we can make them a more diverse and responsive group of employees,” he said. “Additionally, we need to move into the 21st century and start working on ticketing systems, [and] an almost instantaneous means of communication in terms of solving problems. We do a lot of paperwork over there, and I’d like to step away from that. “

Bull called the highway’s workforce “extremely capable and knowledgeable in performing their duties.”

“They are one of the best assets we have in our town,” he added. “With more than 200 collective years of experience, the Highway Department workforce is well-qualified and experienced.”

Bull will now oversee more than 30 highway employees.