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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.

crookhaven February 15, 2013 at 04:36 AM
deport connie kepert!!!!
Brian February 15, 2013 at 04:40 AM
Susan, how did the town manage to clear 16" of snow in back-to-back storms in Jan 2011? Did they have double the manpower? Equipment? Money? Nope. Different people, that's how. You don't have to plow 25" of snow. You plow 3 inches, then 3 inches again, then again. I live in the hilliest part of LI and we didn't see one plow, not one, for over 50 hours once snow started at 3pm Friday. He said, in his acceptance speech, that emergency preparations were the cornerstone of his admin. Maybe, just maybe, he should have worked hard on setting up those emer preparations THEN take his hard earned vacation.
Brian February 15, 2013 at 04:41 AM
Well stated.
Brian February 15, 2013 at 04:43 AM
A question that deserves an answer.
Brian February 15, 2013 at 04:51 AM
He said, in his acceptance speech, that emergency preparations were the cornerstone of his admin. Maybe, just maybe, he should have worked hard on setting up those emer preparations THEN take his hard earned vacation. The finger pointing is nonsense and childish. The prediction of 12 inches of snow wasn't enough to keep him here last Wednesday? He should have been asked, well what would have kept you here to run your town? 15, 20, 30 inches cause on Thursday morning they predicted a blizzard of over 18". Every day last week the totals increased. He also made no effort to return earlier than a week. None. All the info that came out of this (a highway dept with "no master town map", don't know where plows plowed, ran out of diesel, etc.) shows you that NO ONE in town admin had any freaking clue what they were doing. All they had to do was salt and sand the roads Friday from 2:00 on and maybe, just maybe, people would not have gotten stuck. Then, when it appeared to be real bad that knucklehead Bellone should have closed 2 lanes on No Ocean Ave, completely plowed and salted one lane and used it for traffic instead of letting it be a slippery free-for-all. Gee, I have a brain and can analyze these situations and I have zero highway super experience. He's been off the hook, too, on this one. Not only are these incompetents not prepared, thinking they need vacation and breaks, but they can't think on their feet and very few have any actual experience.
Brian February 15, 2013 at 04:56 AM
Where's the Brookhaven Office of Emergency Mgmt coordinator? Oh, that's right position is vacant. Anyone know why? Wink, wink.
Sean February 15, 2013 at 06:50 AM
Would have never happened during the Harold Malkmes days!
susan February 15, 2013 at 11:13 AM
Let's not forget our "Councilman" was on vacation and also another council person so that's 3 away. Perhaps when residents had problems with snow removal is it not their job to represent and take care or their area? $70,000 a year........
Edbo February 15, 2013 at 12:41 PM
Time to go Romaine....if you refuse, the electorate will give you the boot come November. Passing the buck does not fly with the taxpayers of Brookhaven.
Reddawn1 February 15, 2013 at 12:43 PM
With regard to upcoming Brookhaven highway department election . Dan losquadro.... Nice picture standing and smiling on a bulldozer. Guess what Dan... You have no idea how to even start a bulldozer and have NO EXPERIENCE in this line of work. Note to self.... NYS is better SUITED for you, unbalanced budgets and pretending that your bringing home the bacon.... I mean pork. Kathy Walch... . Republican, Democrat, Independent. You can't even make up your mind on this matter let alone running one of the biggest highway departments in the state!! However, i will give you this...at least you did not take a silly picture on a bulldozer. I would like to elect as a write in candidate for highway super a gentleman by the name Mark ( I did not get his last name) who is the highway foreman for the Sound Beach, Rocky Point, Miller Place communities. This past Monday evening, he jumped out of his pick up truck and jumped into the bulldozer and had our road cleared in 10 minutes!! Mark is a true gentleman who CARES about his community. His leadership abilities ( I have had other opportunities to work with Mark in the past) are that of a person who LEADS BY EXAMPLE. I'm asking all of you to simply make a phone call to the Brookhaven highway department in Coram and ask for his last name. You won't be disappointed.
Archie Bunker February 15, 2013 at 01:51 PM
very interesting: Powers and duties of the Supervisor (4) Administration. As chief administrator of the Town of Brookhaven, the Supervisor shall manage the affairs of the Town with regard to organizational problems, personnel, labor relations and all other matters related to the administration of Town government. Town of Brookhaven, NY Code ecode360.com
Mac February 15, 2013 at 02:34 PM
My road was cleaned to the pavement but I couldn't go anywhere because the STATE and COUNTY roads were not cleaned. Folks this failure was much more collosal then the town level.
DSmiley15 February 15, 2013 at 02:41 PM
Jason, they "somehow get to keep" their jobs because all the people who are on here complaining keep voting them back in election after election. Never changing who is in there just tells them that they have job security & they can keep screwing the people over & over again. It is time for the people to stand up & impose their OWN TERM LIMITS. Stop electing these people over & over again - give other people a chance!! Even if those new people SUCK - which wouldn't be any different than what we have now -- you have a chance to elect someone new in again at the next election. Stop all this party loyalty crap & actually vote for the people who know what they are doing!!!!
DSmiley15 February 15, 2013 at 02:45 PM
The first thing everyone needs to do is actually get out & vote!! Then, stop voting for the same person over & over again. Then, stop voting just by whatever "party" they belong to & vote in people who actually know what they are doing!! We need to stop being a divided people worrying about who belongs to what party -- they are all the same!!! Vote in people who actually have experience & care about their towns and villages. If you never change who is in there, how do you expect anythign to change?
tom cavanaugh February 15, 2013 at 02:56 PM
george moraitis February 15, 2013 at 03:42 PM
,,,,,and Nixon wasn't responsible for "WATERGATE"
Over Taxed February 15, 2013 at 03:46 PM
I felt that the worst part of "Ed Remained in Jamaica's" speech was when he blamed the 1000 motorist whose cars were stranded on the roadways on there way home from work. These poor souls were on their way home from work, not from Happy Hour. Such a shame that these people had to be traumatized and in some cases their cars destroyed because our elected officials were on Vacation. Then to add insult to injury the Lettuce Head returns from vacation and blames them for going to work on Friday and getting stuck in the snow. The plows should have been plowing before the snow piled up to 3 feet. The roads should have been sanded and salted way before Fridays rush hour. News Flash Mr ED: Not everyone has a NO SHOW Government Job. Most people have to actually show up at their jobs to get a pay check. They can not decide to leave their jobs, their boss decides when they can leave. And Finally, It is not the publics job to stay home from work to make your job easier. It is your job to clear the roads so it is easier for us to get to and from our jobs!!
DSmiley15 February 15, 2013 at 03:52 PM
So true! Maybe as a supposed "leader" in this town, he should advise other "business leaders" to let their employees leave at a reasonable time so they actually wouldn't get stuck on the way home from work. But, wait, oh no, one more piece of paper wouldn't get pushed through and, if it's anything like my company, they feel like they are doing you some kind of grand favor if they let you go a couple of hours early!!! gasp!!
tom cavanaugh February 15, 2013 at 05:24 PM
James Partlow February 15, 2013 at 06:07 PM
Dick Zydler's Crookhaven goes on.
Recall Ed Romaine & Fire Dan Panico February 15, 2013 at 06:08 PM
Had enough of the lies and finger pointing? Join us on Facebook: Recall Ed Romaine & Fire Dan Panico
PatP. February 15, 2013 at 08:32 PM
A horse is a horse of course unless his name is Mr. ED >>>>>>>>>>>>>
crookhaven February 16, 2013 at 08:39 AM
drunken john rouse hired murphy. he dropped the ball. blame rouse and the drug ring he created at the highway dept.
lara buscatelli February 16, 2013 at 09:32 AM
Didn't it take the state, under Gov. Cuomo, three days to clear the LIE?
Reddawn1 February 16, 2013 at 01:00 PM
Mr. Romaine mentioned in his speech that he "hopes" to meet with the new highway super after the election. What is it that you don't get Mr. Romaine? You "hope"!! Start by reading these posts!! You will then see VERY CLEARLY, the will of the people!! Today, 2-16-13 you, Mr. Romaine were to meet with the Sound Beach community at the Sound Beach firehouse. Instead, showing your lack of leadership, you asked your office to call the Sound Beach Civics and Cancel!! REALLY?? That, Mr Romaine not only shows a lack of leadership... It TRULY IS A LACK OF CHARACTER!! Like a very large segment of the Sound Beach community, I am a fair and reasonable person. Despite my frustration with town government, I along with this beautiful community of Sound Beach would have listened to you with dignity and respect. Not speaking for others in the community, for me, this possibly could have been your opportunity to change my mind about offering up your resignation. Well, Mr. Romaine, due to your lack of leadership... You must RESIGN NOW or face being put out to "pasture" in the next election when my vote is placed for your opponent!!
Archie Bunker February 16, 2013 at 01:10 PM
Archie Bunker February 16, 2013 at 01:11 PM
Powers and duties of the Supervisor (4) Administration. As chief administrator of the Town of Brookhaven, the Supervisor shall manage the affairs of the Town with regard to organizational problems, personnel, labor relations and all other matters related to the administration of Town government. Town of Brookhaven, NY Code ecode360.com aka the buck stops with ed
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
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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