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Brookhaven Highway Needs to Be a Department of Public Works

Is there a politician out there who has the guts to fix this and propose a Department of Public Works?

Now is the time to create a Brookhaven Department of Public Works.

In the next couple of days I’m sure we’ll see a lot of finger pointing and excuses about who is responsible for the failure of the Brookhaven Highway Department to deal with the blizzard. 

In a Newsday article, Ed Romaine, who has been in the Caribbean since Wednesday, says he tried to get back but couldn’t get a flight. He also said that he’s not responsible for the Highway Department, as that superintendent is an elected official. And, well, he hadn’t had a vacation in two years anyway and didn’t think it was going to be a bad storm—that only about 12 inches was being predicted when he left town.

Then there’s Michael Murphy, Acting Superintendent of Highway.  It was first reported that he was home sick with a toothache.  Then, when interviewed by phone on Channel 12, he said he was out of town because of a family emergency.  When asked twice where he was, he kept saying out of town on a family emergency and that two had been left in charge and that he was in constant phone contact with them.

This morning, Wednesday, it has been reported that Michael Murphy will be resigning today and that he takes responsibility for the failure. Of course, he’s resigning as the Acting Superintendent.  I can only assume that he will not be looking for another job.  I am sure that another job within the town will be found for him. Someone prove me wrong! This would never happen in the private sector--someone screws up as much as these people have, they would be gone!

But enough of all this.  I don’t know what it would take for a Department of Public Works to be created within the Town of Brookhaven but now is the time to do it.  I’ve never understood why the Highway Department needs an elected official at the head.  I’ve been told that if it’s an elected position and he or she isn’t doing the job, that person can be elected out.  Well, here’s a news flash.  It’s much easier and faster to FIRE someone who isn’t doing his or her job.  And I don’t
mean being reassigned--I mean fired!


And let’s remember that the March 5 special election to elect the new  Superintendent will have to be redone in November.  Again, enough already!


So is there some politician within the Town of Brookhaven who has the guts to propose a bill—or whatever it would take—to create a Department of Public Works! Let’s make a system where there’s accountability at the Town level and to the community!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Phillip February 18, 2013 at 12:29 PM
ELECT LORI BALDASSARE FOR SUPERINTENDENT OF HIGHWAYS!
Bea Ruberto February 18, 2013 at 12:57 PM
What hasn't been brought up in this discussion is the cost savings with the creation of a DPW. It would eliminate some duplicate departments, so chances are it would also eliminate some "cronie" appointments. The problem of patronage occurs whether someone has been appointed or elected. Look at how many people who lose elections that are then found jobs elsewhere in the system. Look at how many people retire from an elected position to then be placed somewhere else as a "conusltant." Cronyism is a problem but one that doesn't depend or get solved by whether a position is an elected one or an appointed one. I think the reason that Lesko proposed a DPW was primarily to make the Town more fiscally sound. Anyone out there who would like to see consolidation of school districts should see this as sound fiscal policy.
CharliedaTuna February 18, 2013 at 02:36 PM
Does anyone out there realize that there is a SERIOUS conflict of interest with the candidate for highway super (kathy walsh ) and her husband being the president of the union?????? who is going to look out for us taxpayers? that could be a very expensive relationship!!!
CharliedaTuna February 18, 2013 at 02:36 PM
Does anyone out there realize that there is a SERIOUS conflict of interest with the candidate for highway super (kathy walsh ) and her husband being the president of the union?????? who is going to look out for us taxpayers? that could be a very expensive relationship!!!
Rich Murdocco February 21, 2013 at 09:25 PM
Interesting post! It will be hard to create a new department in a Town that is so strapped for cash. My take on the blizzard was a bit different. I feel that the slow response by local government hampered the response by LIPA and National Grid. http://richmurdocco.blogspot.com/2013/02/nemo-found-us-and-system-failed.html

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