Saying he didn’t want politics too mixed up in downtown business efforts, declared Town Council candidate Anthony Coates resigned from the downtown Business Improvement District Management Association last week.
Mr. Coates, a downtown Riverhead resident who does not own a business in the area, has served as resident director of the BID Management Association since 2010, when he was appointed by town financial head Bill Rothaar.
“I resigned because my name has been mentioned — most prominently by me — as a candidate this year,” Mr. Coates said. “And the business of the BID is too imporant and the progress we’ve made is too important to have the BID wrapped up in at least one moment’s discussion as to whether it’s political.”
Mr. Coates, also a political adviser to Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter, submitted a letter of resignation last Tuesday, about two months after he announced intentions to seek the Riverhead Republican nomination to run for a Town Council seat in November.
The BID is a taxing district that uses funds from area businesses to bring awareness and foot traffic downtown through events, promotions and capital projects. The Management Association manages planning and finances, though the Town Board officially makes up what’s called the BID board and votes on financial allocations and setting annual budgets.
BID Management Association president Ray Pickersgill said he would “truly miss” Mr. Coates.
“He was our spokesperson, emcee for all our events,” said Mr. Pickersgill, who owns Robert James Salon on East Main Street, “but also he was very instrumental in our dealings with Town Hall. He helped me a lot with day-to-day operations,especially corespondence to solicit sponsors and handling press releases. He is my friend and I wish him well.”
The BID Management Association’s board of directors comprises one supervisor appointee, currently Ed Densieski, the town financial coordinator appointee position that Mr. Coates held and a Town Board appointee, currently local architect Martin Sendlewski.
When “fully constituted, ” 13 people make up the BID Management Association’s board of directors, Mr. Coates said.
The other members are elected by BID taxpayers, with the next elections in June.
Meanwhile, the group does have a potential replacement resident director “who is very interested” in the volunteer job, Mr. Pickersgill said.