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Romaine Sorry for Absence, But Pins Blame On Highway Department

Brookhaven supervisor apologizes to residents but says highway department does not report to him or the town board.

Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine on Thursday apologized to Town residents for not being on Long Island during this past weekend’s blizzard, but was quick to note that the Town’s highway department — not him — is responsible for overseeing snow removal operations.  

"People elect their highway department superintendent, who reports directly to the people, not to the Town Board and not to the supervisor," Romaine said Thursday at Town Hall. "Nevertheless, it is part of Town government and it concerns me that they failed ... It rings hollow when I can only say how sorry I am that this branch of Town government failed us."

While Romaine said the Town Board was “forced to wrestle control of the situation away from the highway department,” he was quick to note that the response of the highway department was in no way a reflection of Town Board members or the supervisor.

Michael Murphy, Brookhaven’s interim highway superintendent, was out sick for four days during and after the snowstorm. He stepped down on Wednesday, ceding his responsibilities to John Capella.

Romaine said moving forward, he will work with Brookhaven’s future Highway Superintendent – who will be elected on March 5 – in conducting a thorough review of the department's response and inventory of the town's equipment. He also noted that a computerized tracking system is needed to update drivers in the field.

Dan Losquandro and Kathleen Walsh are running for the highway superintendent position, a race that up until now has garnered little attention.

Sara Walsh contributed to this report.

Check back for more information on this story.

Frank Esposito February 16, 2013 at 03:34 PM
Head on over to the Patch of towns in New Hampshire that got hit hard. No comments / problems on any of the news pieces at those Patches with snow up there. Less taxes, more snow, NO PROBLEMS. How does that work? The town of Brookhaven is full of crooks and secret back room deals in power grabs with a side of total disrespect for the taxpayers. The town is full of incompetent workers and cronies because getting a job in Brookhaven is not done on merit. Civil service jobs must be attend on merit only (take a test score the best have some background). It's the only way to keep civil service clean else corruption will brew. Crooks like william thesis (a former hwy superintendent) play games with hiring to work their way down civil service list to their boys. that will not get you the best people for the job. And that is even with a civil service list available. all the lower jobs don't require it. If those you hire get in on lies and deceit, what type of place do you expect? It's time for Brookhaven to have an independent observer present during hiring / interviews. Other places do it, we should too!
crookhaven February 17, 2013 at 08:30 AM
http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm169/getosama/download-3_zpsa824575b.jpg
Jason February 19, 2013 at 04:40 PM
@DSmiley15 ~ Not me at least. I never vote for someone that fails. My loyalty lies within their accomplishments. Thumbs up for your comments. They really need that here too =p

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