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Following Blizzard, Brookhaven Highway Supe Candidates Reflect

Kathleen Walsh and Dan Losquadro are running for the town's highway post in less than a month.

Better communication. More resources. A formal emergency management plan.

These are a few thoughts offered by Brookhaven Town Highway Superintendent candidates Dan Losquadro and Kathleen Walsh, who will be squaring off in a special election next month. Given the many issues Brookhaven had with snow removal during this past weekend's blizzard, this race could garner more interest from local residents than originally anticipated.

Many parts of Brookhaven Town remained snowed in more than 72 hours after a blizzard touched down last weekend,  forcing another civic to cancel a meeting with Losquadro and Walsh three days after the snow hit, and even prompting a small effort on Facebook to recall Town Supervisor Ed Romaine (despite the fact that New York State does not permit recall elections),  that brought more than two feet of snow in town.

In light of what one Democratic councilman called a "complete and systematic breakdown in the ability of the Town Highway Department to respond to this crisis," Losquadro, R-Shoreham, and Walsh, I-Centereach, shared their thoughts about what they can offer when voters head to the polls on March 5.

Pointing to not only Romaine's absence, but that of interim Highway Department head Michael Murphy, who reportedly took medical leave starting on Friday, Walsh noted that an absence of leadership has resulted in an information vacuum, leaving the public unaware of what the town is doing to help them.

"I believe most people understand that this snowfall is not something they have seen before, but the communication is not out there," she said. "Who is the lead advocate for the people? I know we have staff, but we need strong leadership. That's not happening if nobody is around."

Deputy Supervisor Dan Panico has filled Romaine's seat in his absence. He has not returned repeated calls from Patch seeking comment on the town's response to last weekend's blizzard.

Walsh pointed to her brief tenure as acting supervisor, after former Supervisor Mark Lesko resigned, when the town faced Superstorm Sandy: "We were having briefings with the town council and people in emergency services at least two or three times a day. We've had one briefing ... we're on the front line, getting calls and emails. And I don't have information to share with residents. That shouldn't be happening."

Losquadro has said that his interest in the highway department position started after Superstorm Sandy hit. He told Patch in December, "seeing the aftermath of the storm, a lot of people started to call me up, constituents, leaders of different parties, all indicating their support for me if I were to run for this position."

Speaking in more detail what he can bring to the department based on what he has seen between last weekend's snowfall, and last fall's crippling hurricane, he added that the town needs a concrete management plan it can turn to in times of emergency.

"If you try to do things in a reactionary sort of way, that doesn't work," he said. "We need an approved vendor list of outside contractors we can rely upon in extreme circumstances like this."

He said he was unsure what proportion of the town's snow removal resources were in-house, and what were contracted out, but establishing a list of contractors and fee schedules would put the town ahead of any crisis, he said.

A request to the town spokesman, asking what the highway department's current policy is in the case of an emergency, was not returned. Though Losquadro had touted formalizing an emergency plan before last weekend's blizzard touched down, as early as the beginning of 2013.

In order to make his plan work, he said, "this is something where my experience working on the legislative side of government would help, being proactive with the town board and supervisor."

He has even spoken about Romaine about such a plan in recent weeks, he added.

While both Walsh and Losquadro noted that the department could use more updated equipment, and more of it, the two disagreed on why the town doesn't currently have it.

Losquadro pointed to previous budgets Walsh has been a part of that cut highway department resources – the 2011 budget axed six jobs. But Walsh referenced the 2013 budget, where she and Democratic council members Connie Kepert and Steve Fiore-Rosenfeld were unable to find support for $6 million more in the highway budget – equaling roughly $38 more in taxes per household – that would have offered the department more resources.

bryce February 12, 2013 at 11:33 PM
http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=bweqnulab&v=001-Z4x8hfwYW-dCSAXp8PiIEpZO1nQt-znzM3NDHd3rfINkyCAW-TllukxtjN55Ui01DNeR1jRMQzHo_WAytkXtRq7RJCmUVUagguIT64v1mZMTXzfQvANVf5yNYcMX9y66bjSKoc3GqFkunZ7PLxPsQ%3D%3D
Recall Ed Romaine & Fire Dan Panico February 13, 2013 at 12:50 AM
Supervisor Romaine can be removed from office: Public Officers § 36. Removal of town, village, improvement district or fire district officer by court. Any town, village, improvement district or fire district officer, except a justice of the peace, may be removed from office by the supreme court for any misconduct, maladministration, malfeasance or malversation in office. An application for such removal may be made by any citizen resident of such town, village, improvement district or fire district or by the district attorney of the county in which such town, village or district is located, and shall be made to the appellate division of the supreme court held within the judicial department embracing such town, village, improvement district or fire district. Such application shall be made upon notice to such officer of not less than eight days, and a copy of the charges upon which the application will be made must be served with such notice. http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/LAWSSEAF.cgi?QUERYTYPE=LAWS+&QUERYDATA=%24%24PBO36%24%24%40TXPBO036+&LIST=LAW+&BROWSER=BROWSER+&TOKEN=49112332+&TARGET=VIEW
Pat February 13, 2013 at 03:13 AM
We really pay a huge amount of taxes here on L.I. and I don,t understand why some of this money is not approprated for new and updated equipment. Why do we wait until an emergency takes place and then tell us, the problem is due to " old plows, etc.". We all in our household budgets have to plan and be prepared to replace old appliances, cars, and other items whether we want to or not, so why would,nt out Towns be expected to do the same thing? I truly do not understand where all our tax money goes--evidently not in a budget for upgrading necessary equipment! Pat B. P.S. I truly love living here on L.I.--Have been here all my life, but sometimes I now wonder whether it will continue to be possible with the way things seem to be going, so I wish our Politicians would really begin to truly think of those who have elected them to office and less time on worrying about how to get reelected the next time!!
JoJo February 13, 2013 at 05:53 AM
The candidates should be required to do an internship in New England during a snowstorm so they can learn what's required to be performed here on Long Island. Another storm...another disappointment. We pay too much tax money for the service we receive. Pitiful.
TOMMY R February 13, 2013 at 06:33 AM
This is what happens when you fire qualified people because of their political affiliations or for refusing to take part in political party blackmail. Unfortunately Ed is a victim of trusting the wrong persons advice. Making personnel moves based on a bearded dope who doesn't even work for the town is a mistake. He should stick with what he knows---B O E nonsense
Joseph Pinciaro (Editor) February 13, 2013 at 01:23 PM
Thanks for the link - interesting. I'm no lawyer but I was told by the state BOE as well as an election lawyer that there are no recall elections in NYS. Maybe the difference between them is that this seems court-ordered, whereas recall elections are simple votes by the public (following petitions, etc). Same goal though I suppose. Thanks again. - Joe
Dan February 13, 2013 at 01:38 PM
He shouldn't have left. Period. Then his response about leaving was horrendous. And I voted for him. Ohh well. He must have known their was inexperience at hi way . And he should have known lots of snow was coming. His response so far is BS. Now neophyte Murphy resigns
komodopb February 13, 2013 at 03:01 PM
For anyone who cares about our second amendment, please note that Dan Losquadro is also a Republican NY State Assemblyman. He is one of the geniuses who voted FOR the NYS SAFE Act, severely limiting our rights as legal gun owners. This turncoat will NEVER get my vote or those of my friends, family and neighbors. Please be aware.
thomas marcovecchio February 13, 2013 at 03:15 PM
just what we need 2 more crooks the worst was malkmis that s.o.b. used town equipment,materials,and town workers to build his dream house upstate thats a fact
tom cavanaugh February 13, 2013 at 03:32 PM
KOMODOPB------PLEASE!!!!!----LOSQUADRO VOTED AGAINST EQUAL PAY FOR WOMEN--NOW HE WANTS TO RUN THE HIGHWAY DEPT.---PLUS HE IS PROBABILITY WITH ROMAINE IN JAMACIA AND ON OTHER NOTE BLUE POINTAVE IS STILL A MESS---WHEN WILL IT BE PLOWED----WHEN MAZZEI RETURNS FROM FLORIDA---GIVE ME A BREAK--------TOM CAVANAUGH---BLUE POINT
komodopb February 13, 2013 at 06:12 PM
Dan Losquadro is a career politician looking to continue his comfy lifestyle off the back of our tax dollars. I do not see him qualified to run the Highway Department. We need someone who actually knows and understands the job, not another suit looking for a fat civil paycheck.
Little Churchio February 13, 2013 at 08:18 PM
I feel that a real news reporter would look into kathy walsh' husband who is the president of the unions and investigate the fact that some highway guys some parks guys and some landfill guys are all talking about an ordered slow down to make ed romaine and the town look bad in order to help kathy get elected!! this is crimminal !! the dirtiest if dirty politics. newsday is in the democrats pocket and that is why it is being ignored. people have siffered dearly for this. the parks gius were ordered to shovel a dog pen and they worked on plowing an off road bmx track that is closed for the season! dontbe fooled people.
Little Churchio February 13, 2013 at 08:18 PM
I feel that a real news reporter would look into kathy walsh' husband who is the president of the unions and investigate the fact that some highway guys some parks guys and some landfill guys are all talking about an ordered slow down to make ed romaine and the town look bad in order to help kathy get elected!! this is crimminal !! the dirtiest if dirty politics. newsday is in the democrats pocket and that is why it is being ignored. people have siffered dearly for this. the parks gius were ordered to shovel a dog pen and they worked on plowing an off road bmx track that is closed for the season! dontbe fooled people.

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