Riverhead Board of Education member Laurie Downs at a school board meeting in January.
File photo: Maria Piedrabuena

Riverhead school district residents will have a chance to vote again on a proposed $147.1 million operating budget for the 2020-2021 school year.

The school board voted unanimously to schedule the revote on July 28, the date established by Gov. Andrew Cuomo for school budget re-votes across the state.

Riverhead was one of 11 districts statewide to reject a proposed operating budget for the upcoming school year.

The vote will be held in-person, pursuant to an executive order signed by the governor on July 3 — though an absentee ballot will be provided to any voter that requests one, due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. (Download an absentee ballot application here.) Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on July 28. The district is sending out postcards to all residents with information about polling places and obtaining an absentee ballot from the district.

At its reorganizational meeting this evening, board members elected Laurie Downs as board president and Therese Zuhoski as board vice president. The board voted 6-0 to approve its president and vice president, with member Christopher Dorr abstaining on both votes.

Wading River resident Virginia Healy, elected in last month’s balloting, took her seat on the board of education tonight. Returning members Christopher Dorr and Therese Zuhoski were sworn in to new three-year terms.

Tonight’s meeting marked interim superintendent Christine Tona’s first meeting in her new position. Tona was elevated from her post as assistant superintendent upon the resignation last week of superintendent Aurelia Henriquez, who left her post abruptly, effective June 30.

Tona said the board has a viable candidate for the Latin program teacher vacancy.

“It is our intention to move forward and provide that opportunity for students who want to pursue Latin,” Tona said.

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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.