Robert James Salon owner Ray Pickersgill was re-elected to a fourth term as president of the Riverhead Business Improvement District Management Association last Wednesday, but it didn’t come without a challenge.
Architect Martin Sendlewski, who had been BIDMA vice president, threw his hat in the ring for president at the annual meeting last Wednesday at Town Hall, but he said he thinks Mr. Pickersgill has done a “fantastic job” as president for the past four years and has no complaints about him.
“We’ve all been pretty much in the same spots for three years,” Mr. Sendlewski said last Wednesday. “Maybe it’s about time to change things around, to keep things fresh.”
He said other organizations he’s involved with do this.
But Mr. Pickersgill said he still wants to be president.
“I think we’ve done a good job for the past three years,” he said, citing a number of grants he’s gotten for downtown Riverhead projects as well as the events the BID has sponsored to bring thousands of people downtown.
Mr. Sendlewski said he’d have gotten the BID involved with a number of projects had he become president, such as setting up information kiosks and getting an office and secretary for the organization.
Mr. Pickersgill said he opposes having an office and a secretary, which the BID used to have, because of the cost. But he feels Mr. Sendlewski can still work on the kiosks, even though he wasn’t voted president.
Voting was done by paper ballot among BIDMA members, with ballots containing each board member’s vote for president, vice president, secretary and treasurer all on one sheet of paper.
For president, Mr. Pickersgill received eight votes and Mr. Sendlewski four, according to BIDMA secretary Carolyn London. Bill Allan of Minuteman Press defeated Mr. Sendlewski for vice president, 6 to 3, and Ms. London and Ed Densieski were re-elected as secretary and treasurer, respectively.
Mr. Densieski said Mr. Sendlewski is his first cousin, but he still voted for Mr. Pickersgill.
“His effort is unbelievable,” Mr. Densieski said.
The BID also decided to investigate the way it elects board members, after this year’s vote had to be held over a week. Initially, fewer than the required 10 property owners showed up to vote and results could not be finalized until the minimum number of votes had been procured.
Elected unopposed this year to two-year terms on the BIDMA were Ms. London, of J. Sauer Opticians, Ray Dickhoff of Summerwind Square, builder Phil Hancock, Larry Oxman of East End Commercial Real Estate, Athens Grill owner John Mantzopoulos and Steve Shauger, general manager of the Hyatt Place hotel.
“We should address this so we don’t have a problem every year,” Mr. Pickersgill said. Officials say the bylaws allow them to do away with balloting if an election is unopposed.