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Readers: Brookhaven Gets F for Snow Removal & Romaine's to Blame

Poll reveals residents will take frustration to the polls and most don't support boosting highway department funds.

Patch readers give Brookhaven Town an "F" grade for snow removal efforts, clearly put the blame on Supervisor Ed Romaine and likely won't support Romaine's strategy presented this week to increase funding for the leaderless highway department.

But maybe most illuminating is that a good majority, 92 percent, are now much more interested in the special election of a new Town highway superintendent come March 5.

In terms of a grade for snow removal, 78 percent of readers gave the Town an F, and 21 percent awarded a D grade. Not one respondent gave an A, B or C.

The Town's communications efforts didn't fare much better, with 77 percent grading it an F, 18 percent awarding a D and just one reader choosing a C grade.

In terms of who was to blame for poorly executed response 88 percent of readers put it on Romaine, while Deputy Supervisor Dan Panico was cited by three percent as was then-Acting Highway Superintendent Michael Murphy, who has since resigned the role.

The Town's response effort will play a major role in how residents vote in March as 88 percent indicated the experience will have an impact on choosing a candidate, though 11 percent replied it was too soon to tell. A majority, 92 percent, said the blizzard response has spurred their attention and interest in the special election.

Romaine's recently announced strategy for handling future storms might not get much support as it includes increasing pay for snow removal contractors.

The Patch poll revealed just 26 percent are on board with such thinking, 30 percent are against more spend and 42 percent want to know exactly how much more would be spent before making a decision.

In terms of personal impact from the blizzard, just a few residents were spared from being trapped for days.

While 14 percent reported streets were snowed in from 12 to 24 hours, 83 percent said roads went unplowed for 24 to more than 72 hours.

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