Howard (Chuck) Hazelton has served the community for 31 years, first as an employee of the Town of Wheatland Highway Department and secondly as Highway Superintendent for over 20 years. Always available, always responsive, always on call, always putting the residents safety first, and always performing his duties with an even temper. He strove to develop a department with a work ethic and skill set that our residents could depend on and be proud of no matter what season of the year it might be. In fact, working with him for over 15 years as Town Supervisor, I have received many compliments and comments from other supervisors and transportation officials across Monroe county about what a pleasure it was to work with our crew.
Based on the reputation built by Chuck and the performance of our highway staff, our Town crew has frequently been asked to assist or complete projects as a "cooperative effort' with other municipalities. Such work has become a source of revenue for the highway department which in return helps to offset increased cost of materials and labor for our own Town. Whether working long hours in the summer to do road work and mowing, or long hours in the winter to plow and keep the roads clear, the department's management, planning, reputation, skill sets and ability to work and plan cooperatively help to contain tax increases for our residents.
The Town Board and I have been fortunate to have Chuck as department head for so long. His historical knowledge, common sense, humor, reliability and down right willingness to work, have all served as a cornerstone of our government's ability to say we are here to "serve the public". I consider myself lucky to work with him long enough to consider him not only a partner in what we attempted to do across the years but also as a dear friend. He has listened to many a long conversation "from me" to the point that I often referred to him as "Father Hazelton". I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank Chuck and his family for sharing the past years of his life in service to Wheatland. I also look forward to him changing roles and joining the town board team as he continues his history of public service. There is much to look forward to in Wheatland!