Nunda Township’s Road Commissioner’s Race

Incumbent Nunda Township Road Commissioner “Iron” Mike Lesperance, who won a three-way race by three votes four years ago, is being challenged by Eric Dowd.

Eric Dowd and Mike Lesperance.

At the Tuesday night candidates’ night run by the Nunda Township Republican Central Committee, the two debated.

Lesperance got first crack pointing out that he had cut his levy by 5%, distributed 88,000 sand bags when the Fox River flooded, built a new pole barn in his complex, mixed his own salt brine and repaired 95% of his equipment in-house.

Eric Dowd

Dowd proposed that the Road District employees treat taxpayers like customers.

He pointed out that he had plowed snow for ten years.

“I’ve got the management [skills] and leadership to cut the taxes,” he said in his opening.

Lesperance countered by saying that he had been in the excavating business and plowed snow for thirty years.

“You need to know the pain those men [plowing the roads] feel.

“I’m not plowing this year because of the campaign.”

Asked about township consolidation, Lesperance said, “I think township consolidation is a joke.  County unit prices are higher; the state’s near double.

Mike Lesperance

“I can’t comprehend why bigger government would be cheaper.

“It will be union.”

Dowd said, “I am a look at the numbers guy.

“Show me where the money is and I’ll be for it.”

The next question dealt with how the candidates would save money.

Dowd pointed to the $5,000 spent on newsletters.

“That doesn’t seem to be helping our roads.”

When Dowd said that the levy had been flat before he announced his candidacy, Lesperance retorted, “That’s a flat out lie.

“The levy’s been cut every year for three years–5% over that period–$167,000.

“I’ve save you 5% combined over the last four years.

“I can tell you our men are underpaid.

“Before I cut anymore, they’ll get what they have coming.”

How to improve the office was the next topic.

Lesperance said all of the services could be improved.

He explained that the Foreman made the snowplowing calls.

“We save by doing our work in-house.”

Dowd praised the crew as “second to none.”

“How could relationships with constituents be improved?” was a question asked in writing by an audience member.

“I’d talk to the residents before I destroyed their property,” Down answered.

Lesperance said that building relationships took time.  He said the work he had done on culverts, tree removal and ditch digging had been “in the right of way.”

“This doesn’t require resident participation.”

“I’ve struck out a few times,” he admitted, however.

Concluding remarks came next.

Dowd promised to get rid of “things that are unnecessary to provide safe roads for the citizens.”

Lesperance listed “millions of dollars worth of grants to improve local roads:”

  • $250,000 from FEMA to reimburse flood control work
  • $1.5 million for work on Bull Valley and Country Club Roads
  • $617,000 for safety improvements on Lily Lake Road
  • $1.6 million for lights and a turning lane at Nish Road and Route 176
  • $3 million to assist Bull Valley in improving Crystal Springs Road.

After this part of the debate was over, a woman in the back stood up and complained that her question had not been asked.

Nunda Township Republican Party Chairman Joe Gottemoller said that questions aimed at only one candidate had not been asked.

The woman denied that characterized her question.

After the debate, another woman handed me a question that had not been asked:

“It is my understanding that as Road Commissioner you do not actually report to anyone.

“You have an approved budget and as long as you stay within that budget, you do not need approval from the Township Supervisor and/to Township Trustees nor receive any consequences for your actions.

“If you have been elected by the people and also get paid through taxes from the people — do you believe the Road Commissioner does not answer to anyone and can do whatever he wants within his budget?”


Nunda Township’s Road Commissioner’s Race — 31 Comments


    Lesperance: “You need to know the pain those men [plowing the roads] feel.


    Lesperance: “I can tell you our men are underpaid”

    Lesperance: “Before I cut anymore, they’ll get what they have coming.”


    Wow there’s some more politicians BS about how they’re “lowly paid Public Servants!”

    If you’re so underpaid, move along and get a job elsewhere! Good questions from the audience member that didn’t get her questions asked!

    Funny how Gottemoller automatically thought that those were directed at Lesperance only.

    Probably because of all those unsatisfied complaints of him damaging private property of residents, and then him telling them to pound sand?

    Is it any wonder they paid a lawyer out of their own pockets to challenge his filings for candidacy?


  2. I know it is legal to lie during a campaign but:

    “The levy’s been cut every year for three years–5% over that period–$167,000.”

    From the County Clerk Office tax levy for Nunda Road District:

    Yeas Tax extension Change from prior year
    2015 $3,282,574.59 $2.35
    2014 $3,282,572.24 -$30,000.06
    2013 $3,312,572.30 -$20,019.62

    2015 0.00%
    2014 -0.91%
    2013 -0.60%

  3. The three questions seem to all talk about over site.

    I believe state law gives the power to control road budgets to the road commissioners.

    The TWH board can’t micro manage within the budget and are more or less just a rubber stamp.

    The voters are the bosses, their vote is the only real over site other than the courts if something illegal is found to have occurred.

    “I think township consolidation is a joke. County unit prices are higher;”

    Some years back McDOT and the TWH road commissioners were asked to summit costs to maintain the TWH roads.

    The McDOT costs were higher at that time so the consideration for consolidation died.

    Cal maybe you could FOI that, but I’m not sure if any copies even exist anymore.

    If copies did exist in TWH hands it would of came out in the last consolidation failure.

    Like water on a fire that report would of been.

  4. The incumbant’s attitude toward the community is unbecoming of an administrator.

    At the end when he said there’s no time to communicate with constituents he showed his true colors as a bully.

    This is the man who ordered one of his subordinates to drop tree limbs as close as possible to a resident because she wouldn’t move.

    The employee refused and Mike began to bully him to comply.

    When a crew just shows up one day to rip up your driveway with no advance warning it would have been nice to at least have a knock at the door first.

    The incumbant has no regard for others and can’t be bothered with informing his constituents?

    The ones who he must answer to according to him?

    He also mentioned a revolving door with staff leaving for better paying jobs because he hasn’t given them a raise.

    Maybe it’s more because of the way he disrespects them by putting them in situations where they are at odds with residents?

    I’m sure his “management” style has much more to do with it.

    And by the way, isn’t it considered self enrichment for the road commissionor to rent equipment from himself on behalf of taxpayers?

    Just a few thoughts.

  5. “I’m not plowing this year because of the campaign.”


    Too busy licking Miller’s boots and doing campaign work on Township time?

    Lesperance has got to go.

  6. I would say a 20k plus lawsuit with the county over a ditch was a “strikeout”, Mike.

  7. The ditch’s off Edgewood needed attention, as did the pillar’s off of River.

    Life isn’t stagnate, liability is part of the game.

    Mike messed up on diplomacy early in the game, has he learned to play better is the real question.

    Not many road commissioners would plow regularly, only fill in if needed.

    Their job is to manage and deal with the big picture like timely performance of work, complaints, and corrective actions if needed.

  8. A few things Mike Lesperance doesn’t seem to get.

    His crew works in fear most of the time.

    Workers are leaving because he puts them at odds with residents on almost every big project.

    Work stops while the sheriff is called or Mike comes along and makes things worse by arguing with people.

    While the money isn’t great it’s all some have.

    The “Iron” in “Iron” Mike is completely between his ears.

    Maybe it would be better if he would talk to homeowners and associations to smooth things over before work gets started.

    Its a matter of personal and public safety.

    Thats why they leave.

  9. The pillars off River?

    You mean the ones that belonged to La Villa Vaupel?

    The ones he took in retaliation because they sued him for taking their fence?

    I was not aware they were a safety issue.

    Is there any record of any accidents at that totally residential intersection?

    I doubt it.

    It was retaliation pure and simple.

    Who is the Nob anyway?

    Is that you Mike?

  10. Lesperance is the worst elected official that I have seen in Nunda.

    He made a promise during his first campaign that he would communicate with folks.

    A complete failure on that promise.

    He does not return phone calls, and he fails to answer email.

    I don’t think that he can use a computer. (Iron Head).

    Ant tax savings that he claims to have made were eaten up by his poor decisions that resulted in courts.

    He must be sent packing this February.

    We don’t need anymore 5,000 mailings reminding us to “Touch a Truck”.

  11. Nope just aware of what happened.

    Like mail boxes if something is close to the road it needs a break away of so much force.

    Newer deal after they were installed.

    Brick mailboxes are illegal.

  12. VOTE DOWD. (yelling at it’s loudest)

    I know Eric and also know that there is no better candidate for the job….

  13. Eric Dowd did strike me as much more professional.

    He has my vote.

    That’s two, just one more vote and Mike L. Doesn’t have a chance.

  14. The all-knowing Nob has spoken!!

    “Their job is to manage and deal with the big picture like timely performance of work, complaints, and corrective actions if needed.”

    Based on the job description posted by “Nob” no Road Commissioner should earn over $10,000 per year.

    Road Commissioners do not Engineer, the County does it for them and they take a heft chunk of their Motor Fuel Tax for that service.

  15. Actually they hire engineering out also, part of what is required to use MFT funds.

    My reference was to plowing, not all that is required to do the job.

    I’ve got a piece of paper that has Engineering on it, and have worked in the business since 1975, not enough for ya?

    I’m not sorry if facts bother you.

  16. Mike has absolutely NO integrity as he lied to my face when he was running for election 4 years ago.

    He MUST go!

    Vote DOWD

  17. The Nob-

    stop being the township officials little bitch.

    I’m sure you like the pats on the head from Booby and Lespy.

    They don’t love you, they only love themselves.

    And overcooked beets.

  18. I like that type of government over larger units that cost more.

    I said Mike made mistakes, a supporter would never admit that publicly.

    So you hate beets, they must not go with your favorite flavor of cool-aid.

  19. Bong, what I’d like to see is all the State, County, TWH, and City/Villages get their Dept heads and foreman’s in a big conference with directions to realign all the roads to be maintained so the most equitable and least expensive plan can be implemented.

    To bitching ya think?

  20. Oddly, I’m with Nob on this one.

    In terms of services offered and looking at different ways to cut costs, Mike’s done a decent job.

    I cannot speak to the claims made above about his management style with him employees.

    Hard to pay too much attention to overly emotional comments made without any facts, like how many people actually left.

    Nonetheless, still not sure if he’ll get my vote this time around.

    Isn’t Parrish in the running, too?

    What was his excuse for missing this?

  21. Parrish is running for Township Trustee.

    I understand he has a REALLY good job.

    He said he was happy he lost the last election for Road Commissioner by three votes.

  22. Dirty little secret:

    When there is a severe snowstorm, high winds, flooding or other natural occurrence (due to climate change of course), and the governor declares it a natural disaster, County, Municipal, Township Road Departments / Districts receive YOUR federal and / or state tax dollars to reimburse the government entity for the cost of such an event.

    Have you ever seen a government body reduce their next budget to compensate for the reimbursement?

    More likely you saw them increase their budget because after all, their expenses were higher!

    I will never forget the County Emergency guru (Dave Christensen) bemoaning (via the NWH) the fact that Townships were not asking him for enough assistance during a lengthy power outage.

  23. Quote The Nob: “Mike messed up on diplomacy early in the game, has he learned to play better is the real question.”

    I would say no he has not learned.

    His comments at the end reflected he believes it is not necessary to communicate with anyone, not residents, not an HOA, quote “there’s no time”.

    But in the end there’s time to fend off lawsuits and harrass communities for filing them.

    We need a much more intelligent person in office.

    Mike is not that person.

  24. The only thing these two have plowed lateley is you know ????

    such a hard job…

    tell you what

    you do mine and I’ll sit in a truck behind a wheel for a few hours, drink coffee, eat some donuts, and chat BS on the radio the night away…


    both childish comments!

    oh my ** is bigger than yours!

    How about eliminating this township all together!

    we all live way to close to a town or are sucked up in a town and they can do what we are already paying them for !

    there ya go save us our Tax $$ and you can go find a real jobs!

    non union preferably so I don’t have to pay that too!

    I’m sick of you people sucking off of us NUNDA people your the reason I need tax Reform!

  25. Connect the dots…

    Great post up above….

    It appears there is truth to the levy not being dropped until after Mr Dowd announced his candidacy.

    It clearly shows there was no significant aim at any reduction during the last 3+ years.

    (It was flat in 2015).

    It appears that the 5% reduction was political smoke created after Dowd filed to attempt to cover up the “strikeouts.

    Another name for the multiple lawsuits paid for by the taxpayers, to both represent and defend due to Mike’s extremely poor communication skills.

    Even County tax dollars were wasted by our County suing Nunda over a lack of permit issue on the ditch on Running Iron.

    Equally impressive is that if Mike was so concerned about his guys “getting what was coming to them”, WHY DID HE VOTE TO GIVE HIMSELF A RAISE FIRST????

  26. Too bad the Nunda board only contains two elected board members. The other two were appointed to run as a flock. Ed sadly has health issues that kept him away and Mr. Shorten is the only reasonable conservative voice the taxpayer still has. As far as the salaries go, both the Nunda supervisor and the Nunda highway commissioner received raises. I think they were even vocal in trying to get their neighbors in Algonquin raises too. I wonder why that’s not on their campaign literature???

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