Supe’s former political advisor launches ‘online civic association’

02/03/2015 3:15 PM |

CoatesAnthony Coates, a former political ally of the supervisor who ran an unsuccessful Republican primary for Riverhead Town Council in 2013, is planning to launch a new website he hopes will act as an “online civic association” dealing with issues in Riverhead Town.

“What I want to do is be in a position to bring attention to issues and get the community to discuss them and come to some consensus,” Mr. Coates said. “I’m doing this because I find there are a number of issues before the town now that will determine where we go as a town for the next generation.”

The site, BetterRiverhead.com, will launch on Feb. 24 at an event at the Jedediah Hawkins Inn in Jamesport at 6 p.m.

Mr. Coates was a lifelong Democrat who changed his registration to Republican for the 2013 race and has now changed it back to Democrat.

Prior to his run for town board, Mr. Coates served as a political consultant for Supervisor Sean Walter largely from mid-2010 through mid-2012, receiving nearly $30,000 from the supervisor’s campaign funds, according to campaign finance disclosure forms. He last received money from the campaign in February 2014, when he was paid $500.

Mr. Coates feels that while civic associations do a great job in addressing issues in their specific areas, he wants to address issues that are more townwide and will have longtime implications, such as EPCAL, town spending and development.

“I’m not confident we’re going in the right direction,” he said of the town.

Although he is charging a $20 admission to the Feb. 24 event, Mr. Coates says he will not accept advertising on BetterRiverhead.com.

He said he can’t rule out that he may someday run for political office again, but he says that’s not what this website is about.

“This is about trying to create an alternate voice in the political process,” he said.

The site, BetterRiverhead.com, will launch on Feb. 24 at an event at the Jedediah Hawkins Inn in Jamesport at 6 p.m.

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