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Emergency task force proposed in Huntington Town

A tree came down on a house and

A tree came down on a house and car on Conklin Lane in Huntington during superstorm Sandy. (Oct. 30, 2012) Credit: Ed Betz

Town of Huntington residents will be able to sound off about how they think the town responded to superstorm Sandy at a town board public hearing tonight. Afterward, the board will vote on establishing an Emergency Task Force Committee to address disasters in the future.

“It is important, in the wake of such a natural disaster, for the Town to take the necessary steps in assessing its overall preparedness and responsiveness as a municipality to determine where the successes were and what needs to be improved,” town board member Mark Cuthbertson said in a news release. Cuthbertson sponsored the resolution to request the public hearing.

The board will be looking for feedback on how well the town communicated with residents before and after the storm, traffic concerns in the aftermath of the storm, cellphone service performance and the town’s performance regarding debris removal.

Democratic Town Supervisor Frank Petrone says the resolution he is sponsoring to create the emergency task force committee will help Huntington better plan for disasters. He said convening a group to assess a situation in the recovery state is normally done without a resolution, but he is going this route because there was interest from various board members to create a task force. But a fellow town board member, Mark Mayoka, a Republican, says the task force committee was his idea and he planned to sponsor the resolution.

“Everyone wanted to create a task force, with Sandy on their mind looking to go forward,” Petrone said. “Not one board member.”

But Mayoka said he was disappointed in Petrone for “politically grandstanding” by “usurping my idea.”

Residents unable to attend tonight’s meeting are encouraged to send their opinions to Cuthbertson via letters or emails and his office will make sure they are entered into the record.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. at Town Hall, 100 Main St.


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