Supervisor Yvette Aguiar at the May 19, 2021 town board meeting. Photo: Denise Civiletti

Mr. Blass is a nice guy, but he’s got it all wrong!

I was incredibly disappointed to read Greg Blass’s opinion piece Sunday which painted Riverhead in a negative way that I would have never expected from him. What I would really call it is “fake news” if I didn’t hate the term so much. Specifically, in his article, Mr. Blass, a lifelong politician himself, attempts to drag Riverhead into the fray of our nation’s divisive political scene. It’s just not accurate, nor is it fair and we can not afford to go there. Riverhead is much better than the schizophrenic picture that Mr. Blass paints just two days before our upcoming elections. It’s shameful.

Let’s talk about the real Riverhead. The Riverhead I know is a place where partisan politics have not really had a role. Thankfully, national political issues have not infiltrated our small town and should not be allowed to. We control our own destiny in Riverhead – we have our own police, our own water and our own sewer. These critical functions keep us independent and less subject to the pressures brought from outsiders. The Riverhead I know has defended these important local services unfailingly. We need to keep it that way.

During my lifetime here as a resident and community member I have seen our Town Board members work together to make the best things happen for our community over the years. Proof of this is the fact that on every important issue over the past two years, the town board has been completely unanimous in its decision making. In my view, this is because our supervisor has determined to not make things political. Instead, this Ms. Aguiar has been a unifier, crossed party lines and worked with all levels of government to get the job done. And this isn’t just my opinion, it’s fact. The entire town board voted for recent moratorium on solar installations, the development plan and new zoning for the Railroad Avenue area, the pattern book, outdoor dining, the new comprehensive plan, management through a global pandemic and the town square, to name a few.

Things are going well in Riverhead and all the town board members agree, despite Mr. Blass’s opinion to the contrary. We don’t need divisiveness. What we really do need is continuity. The two year supervisor’s term is why we haven’t had it since 2015.

We need downtown revitalization, we need farmland preservation and many other things that this town board has been working hard on to continue. Most of all though, we need to retain our identity as an independent, amazing place where board members keep listening to their neighbors and make good things happen. This board, under the supervisor’s leadership, has made those good things happen (they even gave us a tax decrease and a better credit rating to boot).

Let’s keep that going, it’s what’s right for Riverhead – the town we all love.

Joann Waski lives in Jamesport.

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