The Democratic contender Anthony Portesy is running again, but this year with a Brookhaven 2030 10-year capital plan.
Portesy is a private-practice attorney handling employment and commercial litigation for small and midsized businesses. He ran for highway superintendent back in 2017, falling short to Republican incumbent Dan Losquadro.
He was raised in Selden and is a proud Middle Country Central School District graduate of Newfield High School in 2004. While in law school, he was most notably a legal intern for NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg. During that time he drafted and modified requests for bids and proposals for the New York City Parks Department.
Currently living in Port Jefferson Station and working in Manhattan, should he be elected he promises to take on the superintendent job full-time; he is required to relieve himself of counsel.
Why? He says though he loves practicing law, he also loves his community and has been disheartened by the decline of town roads. He believes the first sign of losing quality of life is road condition, emphasizing that he doesn’t want to see people and businesses leaving because of the decline of the town’s infrastructure. His plan is to go to Albany to lobby and fight for infrastructure money, something he says used to be more abundant.
“It’s not about ignoring the people and saying, ‘we only have this much money,’” he said. “People don’t want to hear problems. They want to hear solutions.”
Having knocked on over 15,000 doors, he wants to offer residents a new voice this year. “It’s always the same [incumbents] running over and over again; there is no choice,” he added, citing that he is the only Democratic candidate from 2017 back on the 2019 ballot. “I am doing this as a labor of love for my community. I have an idea for the future and we are never going to solve today’s problems with yesterday’s solutions.”
Portesy said he has decided to run again because the reforms he sought out back in 2017 still have not been implemented. His platform is to find a solution to Brookhaven’s “crumbling” infrastructure, what he calls “a waste of $18 million of your tax money on a series of cheap ‘mill and fill’ pavement projects.”
His solution: a “worst to first” initiative proposal for road repair.
Portesy, who is running on the Democratic, Working Families and Libertarian tickets, suggests bringing in structural engineers to grade every road in Brookhaven and create a public list with dates that each road will be resurfaced, based on budget allocation.
“Let’s take the politics out of pothole repair,” he said of his methods.
Portesy also wants to bring back blacktop crews instead of filling potholes with cold patches. He plans to implement a drainage plan to accompany road reconstruction to prepare infrastructure for hurricanes, while also cleaning up the drainage basins of the foliage and creating new ones in flood-prone areas. He promises to institute a GPS monitoring system so that residents can see where the plows are during snowstorms in real time, rather than the current system, which, he claims, can be unplugged.
As for communities on the south shore like Patchogue and Bellport, he says the biggest issue is flooding. Current drains, he said, can only handle about 1 to 2 inches of rainwater per hour — which may have worked 50 years ago, but is no longer the case. He said he wants to work with the federal and state governments to find a solution for communities close to the water table for better drainage.
Also, in an effort to make sure the south shore is not ignored, Portesy promises to implement community liaisons and hold quarterly community meetings in each council district. “The only people who know what the need is in the community are the people living there,” he explained.
Portesy urges voters who want to see a change in the highway department to act this year. “Brookhaven voters will be voting for a four-year term; the next time you will be able to vote again will be in 2023,” he said.