Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine announced a crackdown Tuesday on illegal signs along public roads as he outlined plans to upgrade town services.
Delivering his second State of the Town address at Town Hall, Romaine proposed strengthening town codes that regulate signs, including political posters that often remain along town roads after Election Day.
"No signs -- whether commercial, personal or political -- will be allowed on our public right-of-ways starting this spring," Romaine said. "I will be writing to all political leaders to reinforce that message. We will also seek, and we don't have a lot of money, but we will hire one or two part-time employees to remove all such signs from our public right-of-ways and our utility poles."
The new rules, if adopted by the town board, would also apply to advertisements and signs posted on utility poles, Romaine said.
In an interview, Romaine said violations of the new rules would carry a $250 fine. He said illegal signs "mar our streetscapes" and have proliferated in recent years. Town workers removed more than 10,000 illegal signs last year, Romaine said.
"They don't give us a clean, crisp appearance, which is what our streets and streetscapes should have," he said. "Anytime you drive down the road, you see these signs all over the place . . . We're going to send a very strong message. We're going to have a clean, lean town."
Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota, who attended the speech, applauded the crackdown on political signs.
"Right now, you can go around and there are still signs from those who won and those who lost," said Spota, who lives in Brookhaven. "They just don't take them down."
Romaine's speech included proposals to expand the town's recycling program to local school districts, sell "nonessential" town-owned property, and explore sharing costs and services such as bus shelter construction and highway cleanup with Suffolk County.
Romaine also backed efforts to develop a sewer district in Bellport, and said the town would donate 15 acres at town-owned Brookhaven Calabro Airport in Shirley for a sewer district serving that hamlet and Mastic.
He touted recent development projects such as a proposed mixed-use development in Coram and the planned expansion of Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue.
"Brookhaven's growth is steady and visible throughout the town," Romaine said. "In a relatively short time, Brookhaven has become a mega-center of activity for health care, technology, energy resources, higher education and small business."
With Deon Hampton