Guest Spot: Just look what they’re telling reporters

04/21/2011 4:45 AM |

Now we know for certain what we have long suspected. The Riverhead Town Board is totally dysfunctional. Four Town Board members have confirmed it, and even some of them acknowledge it’s time for change. Just read the public statements — as reported by local media — made by our incumbent town officials over the last few weeks.

Councilman Jim Wooten

“I just don’t feel the local people of Riverhead are being fairly represented.”

“I can’t take the infighting anymore. It’s not good for Riverhead.”

“People think it’s time for a different kind of leadership in Town Hall.”

“Riverhead can do better. I see this dysfunctional board which I think hinders government.”

“Sean is paranoid about everybody…”

Supervisor Sean Walter

“I have a board where at least three of the four board members think they should be supervisor.”

“Councilman Wooten has been in office four years. Ask him what his accomplishments are.”

“I’d like to get a new town council member.”

“We need people with vision. Jim Wooten does not have vision.”

“I guess in January he [Wooten] will be looking for a job.”

Councilman John Dunleavy

Walter’s management style can be off-putting (paraphrase).

“Last week he got mad at me and came into my office and said some threatening words to me. I think that it’s immaturity.”

Councilman George Gabrielsen

“I really don’t know where he [Wooten] is coming from.”

“I don’t have a clue what he’s thinking.”

“I think personalities is what’s driving this.  It’s almost bizarre.”

The supervisor and Town Board members have told us voters exactly what we need to know. It is time for different leadership in Town Hall. The infighting on this dysfunctional, all-Republican Town Board is not good for Riverhead. There is no vision on this Town Board. The work of this one-party board is too often disrupted by party politics and petty personality differences.  The actions of our supervisor do suggest immaturity and paranoia.

We do need new board members. Riverhead can do better.

What is extraordinary is that the supervisor and three Town Board members have admitted all of this by their public statements. Who can disagree? They work with each other every day (or at least those days they show up).

To borrow a phrase from Councilman Gabrielsen, it really is “almost bizarre.”

Our supervisor and Town Board members cannot find time to attend a board meeting to consider a major polo proposal at EPCAL. They are quick to dismiss before hearing all the facts a proposal to rent downtown dock space for a dinner cruise boat. Yet they can find time to publicly berate each other. John Abbaticchio, a member of the business group which sought to rent downtown dock space is an independent third party observer. He says (referring to Town Hall) “Things are a little cuckoo over there.”  Who can argue with this observation?

Councilman Wooten last week announced “It is time for the [Republican] Party to have a new appearance in Town Hall.”  How about a disappearance on Election Day instead? While the supervisor and his all-Republican Town Board insult each other and fiddle around at the edges of the town’s real problems, Riverhead burns.

Mr. Villella is the chairman of the Riverhead Democratic Committee and a former Riverhead supervisor.



18 Comment

  • Vinny, it is not enough to just criticize the current Board, although the Supervisor deserves it. Please, please, please give us a good candidate to challenge him.

  • In reality, Sean is the only one that needs to go. Get rid of him and his flunkies, and the town would do just fine. I’ll be voting for the Dem candidate if he is the choice for Supervisor, which is hard to admit as a Republican.

  • Vinny “the Shoe” nails it!

  • Vinny “the Shoe” nails it!

  • it’s ashame reading that greenport was recently voted one the nicest places, that riverhead wan’t on that list. we let that oppurtunity slip by for so many years now and watched as greenport became only what we could now dream of riverhead ever becoming. personnel feelings and agenda’s don’t belong in politics. does anyone know where dave kapell is?



  • Sean Walter has been refusing to meet with the polo people for months. In their visit recently he refused to come out of his office to even shake hands with the gentlemen. You only have to read between the lines to know his reason for wasting the Riverhead taxpayers’ on a study of EPCAL is that he wants to change the zoning so that all of EPCAL is zoned for industrial use.

    How could he say he is looking out for Riverhead taxpayers when he is so eager to spend their money and yet avoids looking at a proposal from investors who are willing and CAN pay cash on a project that would not only be a good fit for the North Fork but could help generate more tax income for Riverhead, sooner than later…

  • This is happening all over the country. Go to and click on the Scandal page. They also have a map of where the incidents have taken place. Already this year they have found over 225 of these incidents. In 2010 they found over 400 of these kinds of cases.

  • so what we have a real child molester here in greenport felix cruse garcia is liveing at anne alvareses house less then 1/4 of a mile from the school and the 3rd street park with the express aprovel of eileen wingate!!!!!!!!!! his ilegal apartment is one of the ones she refuses to deal with so i say so what. its time the [email protected] ends period. so long as this bitch is allowed to take her bribes this will continue. also i am a union man and i tell the greenport village employees this she is your president you will now lose the dem. ind. rep. and all other backing so long as she lives period.

  • pay attention people i do mean as long as she breaths marine corps air period

  • Enough! Legislation needs to be passed to immediately upon conviction to NULL and VOID any pension or benefits they have. As various programs for children suffer to the “budget ax” so should they. After stripping them of benefits and pensions, their personal assets should also be seized and added to children’s victim funds.