Dan Panico is sworn in as Brookhaven supervisor at Town Hall...

Dan Panico is sworn in as Brookhaven supervisor at Town Hall in Farmingville on Monday. Credit: Tom Lambui

New Brookhaven Supervisor Dan Panico used his inaugural address this week to outline plans to cut red tape that he blamed for slowing development of construction projects and discouraging residents from seeking town permission to rent rooms in their homes.

After he was sworn in Monday at Town Hall in Farmingville by state Supreme Court Justice Timothy Mazzei, the former town councilman paid tribute to town employees and his predecessor, Ed Romaine, who last week became Suffolk County executive.

But Panico, 45, signaled he would shake up the status quo, promising to introduce town board resolutions that would “dramatically” reduce the time it takes to approve projects and “build the housing types that our residents need.”

He said his goal was to address the region's chronic shortage of affordable housing.

“The easiest thing to do in government is nothing,” the Center Moriches Republican said in a 20-minute address. “You won't build up enemies. You can go around handing out certificates and cutting ribbons the rest of your life. This is not the type of elected official I will be in heading up this town.”

Panico was sworn into office along with five town council members, Highway Superintendent Dan Losquadro and Receiver of Taxes Louis Marcoccia. Councilman Neil Foley will be sworn in Thursday.

Among the attendees were Romaine, Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-Bayport), Rep. Nick LaLota (R-Amityville) and Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter.

Panico proposed eliminating the town's Accessory Apartment Review Board, which reviews applications for renting rooms in single-family homes, and transferring that role to the town Building Department. He said the department would move faster than the review board, whose six appointed members meet once a month.

“We should not put [homeowners] through the wringer” of protracted reviews to rent rooms in their homes, he said.

Panico also said he wanted to coordinate reviews of building projects so that both site plans and zoning changes were approved “in the same night.” Panico said Tuesday site plan applications, currently heard by the town Planning Board, would instead be reviewed by the town board, which also weighs zoning changes. 

The change would cut approval times by about a year, Panico said. 

“That's what we need to do as a government, now more than ever,” Panico said. “We need to change the manner in which we conduct business in the town, and we need to be a model for other towns and for our state.”

Romaine, who was Brookhaven supervisor for 11 years, said in his address Panico would do a “tremendous job,” adding, “This is Dan Panico's moment.”

He recalled meeting Panico when he was a Touro Law School classmate of his late son, Keith. Romaine later picked Panico to replace his son after he died in 2009 from pneumonia complications at age 36 while serving as a Brookhaven councilman.

“I saw in [Panico] someone of boundless curiosity, someone who was committed to public service,” Romaine said. “When my son passed away I could think of no one better than Dan Panico to replace him.”

New Brookhaven Supervisor Dan Panico used his inaugural address this week to outline plans to cut red tape that he blamed for slowing development of construction projects and discouraging residents from seeking town permission to rent rooms in their homes.

After he was sworn in Monday at Town Hall in Farmingville by state Supreme Court Justice Timothy Mazzei, the former town councilman paid tribute to town employees and his predecessor, Ed Romaine, who last week became Suffolk County executive.

But Panico, 45, signaled he would shake up the status quo, promising to introduce town board resolutions that would “dramatically” reduce the time it takes to approve projects and “build the housing types that our residents need.”

He said his goal was to address the region's chronic shortage of affordable housing.

“The easiest thing to do in government is nothing,” the Center Moriches Republican said in a 20-minute address. “You won't build up enemies. You can go around handing out certificates and cutting ribbons the rest of your life. This is not the type of elected official I will be in heading up this town.”

Panico was sworn into office along with five town council members, Highway Superintendent Dan Losquadro and Receiver of Taxes Louis Marcoccia. Councilman Neil Foley will be sworn in Thursday.

Among the attendees were Romaine, Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-Bayport), Rep. Nick LaLota (R-Amityville) and Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter.

Panico proposed eliminating the town's Accessory Apartment Review Board, which reviews applications for renting rooms in single-family homes, and transferring that role to the town Building Department. He said the department would move faster than the review board, whose six appointed members meet once a month.

“We should not put [homeowners] through the wringer” of protracted reviews to rent rooms in their homes, he said.

Panico also said he wanted to coordinate reviews of building projects so that both site plans and zoning changes were approved “in the same night.” Panico said Tuesday site plan applications, currently heard by the town Planning Board, would instead be reviewed by the town board, which also weighs zoning changes. 

The change would cut approval times by about a year, Panico said. 

“That's what we need to do as a government, now more than ever,” Panico said. “We need to change the manner in which we conduct business in the town, and we need to be a model for other towns and for our state.”

Romaine, who was Brookhaven supervisor for 11 years, said in his address Panico would do a “tremendous job,” adding, “This is Dan Panico's moment.”

He recalled meeting Panico when he was a Touro Law School classmate of his late son, Keith. Romaine later picked Panico to replace his son after he died in 2009 from pneumonia complications at age 36 while serving as a Brookhaven councilman.

“I saw in [Panico] someone of boundless curiosity, someone who was committed to public service,” Romaine said. “When my son passed away I could think of no one better than Dan Panico to replace him.”

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