BID board vote put off over attendance issue

07/11/2013 8:00 AM |
Pickersgill in Riverhead

NEWS-REVIEW FILE PHOTO | Current BID management association president Ray Pickersgill conducts business on his phone in downtown Riverhead in 2011.

The winners of the Riverhead Business Improvement District management association’s elections Tuesday night are, well, we don’t know yet.

The BID’s annual meeting Tuesday, at which the vote for board members is taken, lacked a quorum of downtown voting property owners, and thus, could not be closed, according to Larry Oxman, who heads the BID management  association’s election committee.

In order for the vote to be official, he said, there needed to be 10 voters representing property owners in the business district and 10 representing tenants. The vote is a paper ballot done at the meeting, and voters must fill out a form indicating if they are property owners within the BID, or tenants.

The BID is a taxing jurisdiction comprising the downtown area that aims to foster downtown revitalization and economic development through events, promotions and even capital projects.

Tuesday’s elections saw 11 tenants vote, but only 8 property owners.

As a result, the annual meeting, and the vote, was adjourned to next Wednesday night, Mr. Oxman said.

The BID’s bylaws allow the management association members to adjourn the meeting and pick up where they left off at a future meeting, which would be the regularly scheduled BID meeting, which starts at 5:30 p.m. at Town Hall on Wednesday, July 17.

At what point the annual meeting stops and the regular meeting begins still needs to be researched, Mr. Oxman said.

“This is the first time this has happened, so we’re kind of in unchartered territory,” he said. “Do we just vote until there’s a quorum? Or do we go to a certain time? I don’t know. But it’s important that procedure is followed and people are given an opportunity to vote.”

The six candidates on the ballot for the six two-year terms Tuesday were Caroline London of J. Sauer Opticians; Ray Dickhoff of Summerwind Square; and builder Phil Hancock, all running to represent property owners, and Mr. Oxman of East End Commercial Real Estate; Athens Grill owner John Mantzopoulos; and Steve Shauger, general manager of the Hyatt Place hotel, representing tenants.

Mr. Oxman said Michael Mann of 73MAIN, a boutique store in downtown, had expressed interest in running as a tenant as a write-in candidate.

Once the voting is completed, and the composition of the board is determined, the full board will then vote on a president, vice president, treasurer and secretary.

Those positions are currently held by Ray Pickersgill, Martin Sendlewski, Ed Densieski and Ms. London, respectively.

Mr. Pickersgill said he plans to run for a fourth year as BID management association president.

The other members of the BID management committee’s 13-person board are Mr. Pickersgill of Robert James Salon, Bill Allan of Minutemen Press, Liz Strebel of Riverhead Grill and Diner, and Bob Barauskas of Suffolk County Historical Society, all of whom were elected last year.

Three other members, Mr Densieski, Mr. Sendlewski and Isabelle Gonzalez, were appointed by the Riverhead Town Board.

tgannon@timesreview.com