Riverhead Councilman Ken Rothwell, Assessor Laverne Tennenberg and Highway Superintendent Mike Zaleski were all sworn into office Dec. 30, 2020.

Councilman Kenneth Rothwell and Assessor Laverne Tennenberg took their oaths of office yesterday in Town Hall Hall and Highway Superintendent Mike Zaleski was sworn in at the highway department.

This is Rothwell’s second oath of office and his first as an elected official. Rothwell was appointed to the board in January to fill the vacancy created when Councilwoman Jodi Giglio was elected to the State Assembly. Rothwell ran for his seat in the November election on the Republican ticket and received 32% of the vote, the most in the field of four candidates for two open seats. Town Clerk Diane Wilhelm administered the oath, as Rothwell’s parents, Thomas and Margaret Rothwell, his wife Debra and two sons, Kenny and Cameron, looked on.

Tennenberg took the oath for a ninth time since she was elected to the assessor post in 1989. Since 1997, she has served as chairperson of Riverhead’s three-person board of assessors. Tennenberg was re-elected with an overwhelming 67% of the vote in November. Her oath was administered by her husband Keith Mantell, with her mother Irene holding her late father Robert’s Bible. 

Rothwell told RiverheadLOCAL “with rising COVID numbers, we’re keeping things simple.”

Newly elected Highway Superintendent Mike Zaleski took his oath of office yesterday at the highway department. Wilhelm went there with the oath book to do the honors. Zaleski’s father Jim, his son Ryan, and his aunt and uncle, Martha and Dominick Tribuzio were there to watch. Zaleski, who had served as deputy superintendent since March 2016, was elected to the post vacated by the retirement of former superintendent George Woodson with 66% of the vote.

Supervisor Yvette Aguiar on Wednesday announced an inauguration ceremony Sunday at 11 a.m. at Town Hall with limited in-person attendance due to the recent surge in coronavirus cases. She said a previous plan to host an event at the Suffolk Theater again, as was done on Jan. 1, 2020, was shelved due to the surge.

Riverhead Councilman Ken Rothwell took the oath of office Thursday, administered by Town Clerk Diane Wilhelm. His wife Debra held a family Bible as his sons, Cameron and Kenny and his parents, Thomas and Margaret, look on. Photo: Alek Lewis.
Councilman Kenneth Rothwell signs the town clerk’s oath book. Photo: Alek Lewis
Riverhead Assessor Laverne Tennenberg took her ninth oath of office Dec. 30, administered by her husband Keith Mantell as her mother Irene held her lat father Robert’s Bible. Photo: Alek Lewis
Assessor Laverne Tennenberg signs the town clerk’s oath book as her husband Keith Mantell watches. Photo: Alek Lewis.
Highway Superintendent Mike Zaleski takes the oath of office at the highway department Dec. 30, administered by Town Clerk Diane Wilhelm. Courtesy photo: Ryan Zaleski
Highway Superintendent Mike Zaleski, center, with his son Ryan, left, and father Jim, after Zaleski was sworn in at highway department headquarters Dec. 30, 2020. Courtesy photo: Dana Brown

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Alek Lewis is a lifelong Riverhead resident and a 2021 graduate of Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism. Previously, he served as news editor of Stony Brook’s student newspaper, The Statesman, and was a member of the campus’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Email: [email protected]