She has been a school bus driver and can handle a snowplow.
That’s what Dani Bond, a driver for the Iroquois School District and mother of two, says as she challenges longtime Wales Highway Superintendent Michael J. Zywar in the election.
Bond, a graduate of Iroquois High School and 27-year resident of Wales, said she is up to the challenge of driving and operating the town’s Highway Department equipment.
“If I can drive a school bus with 30 screaming kids behind me, I can drive a snowplow,” Bond said.
“Come January, you will see me in the first plow truck with employees learning what I need to know. It doesn’t scare me.”
During the recent “Meet the Candidates Night” sponsored by the League of Women Voters, Bond said she has a commercial driver’s license, or CDL, and has had supervisory experience in bookkeeping, accounting and payroll.
She handled the books for her parents, who owned Mary’s Country Cupboard in Wales Center for years, she said.
Many people say that if you have a CDL, you can learn to drive all the necessary equipment the job requires very quickly, she said.
Bond said she knows the current employees of the Highway Department and is confident she will have no problems supervising them.
In the 1980s, the Town of Wales changed the job description of highway superintendent to working superintendent because the department has only two employees and the superintendent needs to be able to use all the equipment, including a high-lift, bulldozer, snowplow and various trucks.
In addition, the superintendent must be able to repair and seal town roads, clear ditches and cut brush.
Bond has the Democratic, Independence and Conservative party lines. She also sought the Republican ballot line, but Zywar received 217 votes to her 48.
Zywar has been a Highway Department employee since 1986, when he started out as a motor equipment operator, eventually serving as deputy superintendent. He was appointed highway superintendent in 2001 after the retirement of Rick Reed.
Zywar is running for his fourth four-year term. Because he did not receive the endorsement of the Republican committee this year, Zywar went door-to-door and gathered enough signatures on a petition to run in the Republican primary, which he won.
Other Republican candidates running for office in Wales in the Nov. 5 elections are Supervisor Ricky A. Venditti, seeking his sixth two-year term, and Council Members Gerald E. Klinck, seeking his third four-year term, and Jude A. Hartrich, seeking her second four-year term.
Mindy Eaton, town clerk and tax collector, is seeking her second four-year term, and Assessor John Sly his third four-year term.
All have the Republican, Conservative and Independence lines, and all are running unopposed.