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Brookhaven should focus on substance, not divisions

In contrast to Albany, the contentious Town of Brookhaven has seemed almost tranquil. The new supervisor, Mark Lesko, and the man he defeated in a March special election, Councilman Tim Mazzei, have mostly worked well together. But in this local election year, the town could yet go all Albany on us. Lesko, a Democrat, is the supervisor, but the Republicans, led by Mazzei, have a 4-3 town board majority, and there are divisions on issues. One is ServiceStat, a statistical tool that holds department heads accountable. Lesko is committed to it, but Martin Haley, who runs the buildings department - and is the GOP candidate against Lesko this fall - doesn't like the way it's been used. This is a squabble we don't need. ServiceStat has produced good results in Brookhaven and across the country. Another quarrel focuses on economic development. Last year, Republicans removed that function, which is especially vital in a recession, from the supervisor's control and put it in the planning department. Lesko now proposes to move it back to his office, where it really belongs. Cue the fireworks. For now, the town should focus on substance, such as the green homes program Councilwoman Connie Kepert is working on, Mazzei's good work in getting the town to protect the Great South Bay in cooperation with The Nature Conservancy's clam-reseeding, and Lesko's push for efficiency. Better that than an Albany-like war. hN