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Romaine wants to nix signs, disparaging remarks at meetings

Suffolk County Legis. Ed Romaine speaks during a

Suffolk County Legis. Ed Romaine speaks during a meeting of the Suffolk Legislature in Hauppauge. (May 3, 2012) Photo Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

New Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine has asked the town board for suggestions on altering the rules and procedures of council meetings.

During Thursday’s town board work session, Romaine recommended council meetings should more closely follow the meeting format of the Suffolk County Legislature, and that the public hearing portion should be the first order of business on the agenda. Romaine was a county legislator before being elected supervisor earlier this month.

Under his proposal, beginning in January, protesters would not be allowed to demonstrate or carry signs in the meeting room.

Such measures would lead to “civility in the way we do business,” said Romaine, adding that disparaging comments, which have been routine in the past few months, would not be permitted.

Councilwoman Connie Kepert said rearranging the agenda order could be problematic.

“If you don’t make the meeting in time for the public comment, then you have to wait until all the resolutions are done to address the board and that becomes burdensome,” she said at the work session.

Romaine also suggested that all agenda items be posted on the town website 48 hours before a meeting. He asked the board to provide input next week, before he drafts a resolution to implement the changes.

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