Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine met with the Town's Highway Department Tuesday to discuss issues related to the Feb. 8 blizzard and snow removal.
"This was a great opportunity to speak with those who were on the front lines during the storm and to hear what they had to stay about the problem that were encountered by their crews," Romaine said in a written statement.
Tensions have been high between the supervisor and highway department since Romaine, who was on vacation during the blizzard but also accepted some responsibility for the Town's response, said in a statement this past week that the Highway Department is solely responsible for snow removal.
Wally Greene, president of the highway department's union, accused the supervisor of using the highway department as a scapegoat claiming Deputy Supervisor Daniel Panico was in charge of the department throughout the storm, according to Newsday.
Romaine, acting Highway Supervisor John Capella and members of the Town highway department met to discuss weather emergency plans, staffing, equipment, fleet maintenance, fuel distribution at Town facilities, outsider contractor rates and insurance.
"My powers over the Highway Department are lmited but I will make recommendations to the Town Board in order to refine our current emergency response plan and provide long term resolutions so we are better prepared for future weather emergencies," Romaine said.
Currently, Brookhaven's Highway Superintendent position is vacant and a special election to fill the post will be held March 5. The candidates in the race are Councilwoman Kathy Walsh, running as a Democrat, and Assemb. Dan Losquadro, a Republican.