County executive candidate Carpenter unveils ‘East End Access’ plan

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTO | Republican candidate for county executive Angie Carpenter unveiled her 'East End Access' plan Tuesday at the Riverhead County Center.

Republican candidate for county executive Angie Carpenter said Tuesday she wants to reopen some offices at the Riverhead County Center in order to provide East End communities with closer access to government services.

Ms. Carpenter said she believes reopening the Riverhead offices for the county executive and Consumer Affairs, which have been closed for about eight years, would cut down on travel time for residents and businesses owners who would normally have to travel to the county’s offices in Hauppauge.

“Many people on the East End feel that they have been ignored,” said Ms. Carpenter during a press conference at the Riverhead County Center. “This will deliver government services right there to the people.”

Ms. Carpenter said her plan, which is called “East End Access,” is budget-neutral because the offices would be staffed by existing county workers that live on the East End. In addition, the offices would offer extended hours for people to stop by after work.

Ms. Carpenter added that her plan aims to help improve the quality of life for the 136,000 people who live full-time on the East End, which provides 33 percent of property taxes, as well as 25 percent of sales tax, to the county.

“It’s important to help to protect our tourism because it contributes to the overall economy,” she said. “Simply put, we would be bringing Suffolk County government to the people.”

North Fork Legislator Ed Romaine, who attended the press conference along with fellow Republicans Legislator John Kennedy and Southampton Town Councilman James Malone, said he was pleased with the plan.

“Riverhead is the official county seat of Suffolk County, not Hauppauge,” he said. “People on the East End should not have to commute to Hauppauge for county services when they can be offered right here in Riverhead.”