LAKE RONKONKOMA (PIX11) – “I think somebody finally woke up.”
This is how Terry Puccio described the sight of plows on her street.
Puccio has lived along Richard Place for 23 years. She is not a politician, but the taxpayer had no issues in taking a shot at one: “I wish I was in Jamaica when the snow storm came.”
She is referring to recently elected Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine. After being on the job for only a few months, Romaine ditched the blizzard preps last week and instead packed his trunks along with the cocoa butter for a sunny vacation in Jamaica.
“Very hard to manage from Jamaica,” Connie Kepert told PIX11 News during an interview in her office Wednesday afternoon.
Kepert, who has been on the town council for six years and sits across the aisle from Romaine, talked of the sights of frozen roads and other emergency issues that have crippled the area.
They can best be described, she said, as “a terrible, terrible failure on the part of the town, in particular the highway department.”
Meanwhile, Highway Department Superintendent Michael Murphy, who called out sick during the storm and its aftermath, is now out of a job,
“He is resigning today as acting highway superintendent.”
Town Deputy Supervisor Dan Panico went before the cameras to confirm the departure as well as defend his boss and close friend, Romaine: “He was in Jamaica.”
PIX 11News showed Panico an image of a fire hydrant that was encased in snow in front of Tina Farrow’s house on Richard Place. The image clearly showed how hard it would be for firefighters if they had to battle a fire.
Panico’s response? “There is a hydrant that is partially uncovered to the bottom of the valve.”
He quickly realized the dangers and said, “If you let them know where it is, we’ll send it over to highway and we’ll get that cleared.”
PIX 11 News did let him know the location.
We contacted Ferro Wednesday evening to see if Panico stayed true to his word. According to her, he did not. The snow was still there.
And there is more snow on the horizon.