Too Little Too Late? Town Supervisor who vacationed during blizzard calls for state aid

Posted at 9:28 PM, Feb 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-20 21:30:40-05

(LAKE RONKONKOMA) – Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine was back in front of the cameras on Wednesday, two weeks after he skipped town for a sunny Carribbean vacation in Jamaica while residents were struggling through a blizzard.

Many ultimately ended up abandoning their vehicles, leaving them in roads that were not plowed by the highway department.  Romaine on Wednesday requested help from the state for more equipment as well technological additions to make emergency response to storms more fluid to ensure that, “Problems do not happen again.”

Brookhaven Town Deputy Supervisor Dan Panico spoke with PIX 11 News in the days following the storm.

After showing Panico a picture of a fire hydrant deeply entrenched in snow along Richard Place last Wednesday the Deputy Supervisor said it would be addressed, “We’ll send it over to highway and we’ll get that cleared.”

A week later PIX 11 News reconnected with long-time resident Terry Puccio who expressed her concern surrounding the hydrant.  Puccio remembered Panico’s promise well, “You showed him our fire hydrant.”

When asked if he ever sent crews to come and address the fire hydrant?  Puccio said, “No, it kind of melted with the sun and the rain.”

Puccio is fed up.  She, like others, feels that  leadership is out of touch with the township, “They lost the map for the town of Brookhaven,” said Puccio.

Kathleen Walsh is a council member who was the acting Supervisor of Brookhaven during Sandy and the blizzard of 2010.  Coincidentally, Walsh is also running for the now vacant position of Highway Supervisor.  She met a PIX 11 crew at the corner of Wendy and Harvey Lanes where she came across a street converted into an iceberg by the storm.

When reminded that Romaine promised to address these type of issues after his return from his sunny trip to Jamaica, Walsh quickly responded, “Yes he did and it should be addressed.  I’m surprised that these residents are not calling town hall.”

When Walsh was asked if it appeared like leadership might still be failing?  “I would say at this point, yes,” said Walsh who immediately became proactive and put a call into the highway department.

Less than an hour later a plow pulled up and cleared the aforementioned “iceberg” and “island.”