Supervisor-elect Yvette Aguiar after her election victory on Nov. 5. Photo: Denise Civiletti

Riverhead’s next town supervisor Yvette Aguiar will take the oath of office on New Year’s Day at The Suffolk Theater on East Main Street in ceremonies set for 1 p.m.

Council members Tim Hubbard and Frank Beyrodt, Town Justice Lori Hulse, Town Clerk Diane Wilhelm, assessors Mason Haas and Meredith Lipinsky and Receiver of Taxes Laurie Zaneski, will also be sworn in during the ceremonies. Light refreshments will be served afterward.

“I’m inviting the whole community to attend,” Aguiar said. “It should be a really nice inauguration.”

Deacon Michael Bonocore will offer an opening prayer, she said. The First Baptist Church choir will perform musical selections. Other groups participating are the Riverhead VFW, Riverhead Fire Department, the Riverhead High School NJROTC and local Boy Scouts.

Aguiar thanked Suffolk Theater owners Bob and Dianne Castaldi for opening the theater for the inauguration on New Year’s Day.

“It’s such a beautiful venue and it was very generous of them to make it available to us for this event,” she said.

In an interview this afternoon, the supervisor-elect also discussed the appointments she will make to key positions in the supervisor’s office.

Aguiar’s deputy supervisor will be Denise Merrifield of Wading River. Merrifield is a former deputy chief prosecutor in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Aguiar said. She holds a J.D. from Albany Law school and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Stony Brook University.

Devon Higgins of Jamesport will serve as Aguiar’s chief of staff, the supervisor-elect said. Higgins is a certified paralegal, real estate broker and business owner. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Loyola University. She has extensive knowledge in real estate acquisitions and building permitting, the supervisor-elect said.

Aguiar said Patrick Derenze, who was appointed in 2018 by outgoing Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith, has agreed to stay on temporarily to aid in the transition.

Aguiar said she has been meeting with employees in various town departments to get acquainted and she’s looking forward to the new year.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.