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Tuesday vote for Brookhaven highway chief

Kathy Walsh and Dan Losquardo, candidates for the

Kathy Walsh and Dan Losquardo, candidates for the the Town of Brookhaven Highway Department Superintendent. (Feb. 18, 2013) Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

Voters go to the polls Tuesday in the special election for Brookhaven Town highway superintendent.

Town Councilwoman Kathy Walsh, an independent running on the Democratic line, and Republican state Assemb. Dan Losquadro, of Shoreham, are vying for the position.

The new superintendent will oversee a department with a $70-million budget and responsibility for more than 2,100 miles of town roads.

The winner also will inherit a department with aging vehicles prone to breakdowns and town residents who are skeptical of whether the department can handle major storms.

The issue became central to the election after the Feb. 8-9 blizzard, which dropped 30 inches of snow in some areas.

Many streets went unplowed for up to four days, and town leaders were widely criticized for the poor performance.

Acting highway superintendent Michael Murphy, who called in sick during the blizzard, resigned. He had replaced longtime superintendent John Rouse, who stepped down after winning a judgeship in November's elections.

The candidate elected Tuesday will serve through November, the remainder of Rouse's term.

Both candidates have promised to examine winter vacation policies, find ways to better track department vehicles and look into buying new equipment.

Voting hours are from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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