One incumbent and four challengers are seeking election to two open seats on the Riverhead Town Board in tomorrow’s contest.
The council position is for a four-year term. It is part-time and pays a salary of $48,955 per year, plus benefits.
Republican Tim Hubbard of Aquebogue is seeking election to a second four-year term as councilman. Hubbard, 59, is a Riverhad native and a retired Riverhead Town Police detective. A Riverhead PAL football coach for many years, Hubbard is also a former Riverhead school board member.
Hubbard has found himself a swing vote on key issues before the town board, most notably the decision on the application of Calverton Aviation & Technology to be deemed a “qualified and eligible sponsor” in the $40 million sale of 1,644 acres in the Calverton Enterprise Park. Hubbard cast the deciding vote in favor of the application, expressing his faith that the purchaser has the financial wherewithal and expertise to develop the property. He voted against the contract of sale to CAT in December 2017, objecting to the inclusion of 1,000 purportedly non-developable acres in the deal.
Running with Hubbard on the Republican line is Riverhead businessman Frank Beyrodt, an owner and operator of a sod farm business, two golf courses and a restaurant.
Beyrodt, 52, is a past president of the Long Island Farm Bureau and sits on the board of directors of Island Harvest, an organization that distributes food to food pantries across Long Island. Beyrodt supports the sale of land to CAT. He says he will work to reboot the town’s transfer of development rights program, which he says is essential to preserve the currently unprotected more than 7,000 acres of active farmland in the town. He says the town should proceed with caution on any zoning changes because people invest a lot of money in land with the expectation that they will be able to develop it the way the zoning allows.
Beyrodt lost a 2017 bid for a town board seat by a mere 128 votes, placing third in that race behind incumbent Councilwoman Jodi Giglio and newcomer Catherine Kent.
Former East End Arts executive director Pat Snyder and former Riverhead BID executive director Diane Tucci are running on the Democratic line for town council.
Snyder, 63, served as executive director of East End Arts from 1999 to 2018. Prior to that, she was director of the East End Arts school. During her tenure, she grew enrollment at the school and initiated and developed several successful programs and events, including the Community Mosaic Street Painting Festival and Winterfest. A Long Island native who has lived in Riverhead for more than 30 years, she has been involved in the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, PTO and Girl Scouts.
Snyder has spoken out against the EPCAL sale as currently constituted. She believes the inclusion of 1,000 acres that should be preserved was a critical error. She says as a collaborator and a problem-solver, she can help the town board move forward.
Tucci, 49, was executive director at the Riverhead Business Improvement District Management Association and held that title concurrently for a short time at the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce while that organization was seeking a new permanent executive director. During her tenure with the BID she helped establish and grow the downtown Halloween Fest and Alive on 25.
She owns photography and marketing businesses based in downtown. She is a Riverhead native who grew up on her grandparents’ farm. She is a volunteer for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts and PTO.
Tucci says she will continue to work to build community in Riverhead and be an advocate for small business.
William Van Helmond of Jamesport is a registered Libertarian running on the Libertarian line for Riverhead Town board. He operates a landscaping company in Jamesport. He is the president of the Greater Jamesport Civic Association.
Van Helmond, 56, grew up in Patchogue and is a 1981 graduate of Patchogue-Medford High School. He started a property maintenance company the following year. Van Helmond sees his role as a reformer and pledges to work to ensure that the town respects individual liberties.
Van Helmond has been critical of the inclusion of 1,000 acres of “pristine” land in the sale to Calverton Aviation and Technology and believes the town should work with the purchaser to preserve that acreage.
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