By HOWARD BALABAN email@example.com
Medina Journal-Register — On Tuesday, Sept. 10, voters in the Town of Ridgeway will go to the polls to vote in a primary for the town’s highway superintendent.
The candidates are incumbent Mark Goheen and challenger Ray Wendling.
Goheen was elected to the position in November of 2009. Since that time he said the town’s highway department has worked diligently on many projects.
Among the finished projects he listed were the elimination of bridge headwalls next to town roads and the covering of culverts to remove abutments so that cars in many areas cannot just run off a road and land in a ditch.
“We’ve done a handful of those,” Goheen said of the latter.
Major rains in Knowlesville over the summer led to standing water problems in the hamlet. Goheen mentioned how the town has worked to fix that problem to the best of its ability, but he said the problem is an ongoing one.
“We cleaned out the culverts underneath the canal, and now we’re looking to divert water away from Knowlesville,” he said. The town is currently in the process of acquiring state permits to move forward with that project, he said.
Goheen added that he has been involved in helping to create Ridgeway Water Districts 12 and 13.
“It looks like both of those will be approved for funding,” he said. Currently, he estimated that 85 percent of the town’s residents have town-provided water.
“We have other folks who still need water, and I’d like to see us get as close to 100 percent as possible,” he noted.
Goheen said he hoped to win another four years with the town.
“I love my job,” he said. “It’s a great bunch of guys to work with, and it’s something different every day.”
Goheen’s background includes an associates degree in mechanical engineering, with supervisory and budgetary experience at places like Kodak. He is a member of the Lions Club, the Jaycees, and is a softball umpire for high school and local leagues.
Wendling has spent more than 24 years as an employee in the Village of Medina’s Department of Public Works. He said he started as a mechanic and now works out in the streets, which entails all aspects of the department: streets, water, and sewer.
The years spent locally, along with his five years in the US Navy as a member of a Seabees construction battalion, have given him a “depth of leadership experience and job knowledge.”
Wendling stated, “I think I can use that to serve the people of the town.”
During his career Wendling said he has had experience with budgets and has both worked with and maintained municipal equipment.
In talking about what he would bring to the position, Wendling said he felt he has developed a reputation of respectability and fairness that would serve him well.
“I think I can make a difference in improving the quality of service to the people of Ridgeway,” he said. “I enjoy talking with people, and if they come in with a concern, I’ll do what I can to give them an answer to whatever concern or problem they have.” He added that those answers would come in as timely a manner as possible.
Being on the campaign trail for the past few months has allowed Wendling to voice his goals to the people he has met. He said some of his goals would be to “advocate for the people of the town” and to make himself “readily available and work with the board.”
Along with Wendling’s work experience, he has also served as a trustee at his church, where he oversaw several building projects. He also is a past president on the board of directors at Equistar of Newfane, which is an organization that serves individuals with disabilities in Orleans, Niagara, and Erie Counties. His time at Equistar saw him lead fundraisers and work in organized groups on construction projects. Wendling has been a member of the Town of Ridgeway Zoning Board and involved with the Orleans County 4-H and Arc Orleans, as well.PRIMARY VOTE Polling places in town are the Ridgeway Town Offices and the Ridgeway Fire Hall. For questions on times or where to vote on Sept. 10, call the Ridgeway Town Office at 798-0730.