Blog Recap: Town Board puts off giving job to Walter adviser

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Tonight's Riverhead Town Board meeting is at 7 p.m.

The Riverhead Town Board was scheduled to vote on a resolution Tuesday night appointing Anthony Coates, a political adviser to Supervisor Sean Walter, to a $65,000 per year, non-union job as “legislative secretary.”

But board members tabled the measure instead. (See blog below for coverage from the meeting.)

Mr. Coates, who also says he is an investment banker, has been being paid $1,000 per month out of Mr. Walter’s campaign funds for “consultation,” according to campaign finance disclosure forms on file with the state Board of Elections.

The resolution that was tabled tonight also calls for Mr. Coates to have 100 percent of his health insurance covered by the town. The resolution states that the new position is needed because “in order to attract private businesses to locate and expand their operations at EPCAL….the town requires support of state legislation to create a government structure for EPCAL which will assume authority and duties related to development projects at EPCAL.”

The job would involve “reviewing, editing, and proof reading legislation” and helping the town to get that state legislation creating the EPCAL commission  approved, the resolution reads.

Councilman Jim Wooten said before the meeting that he opposed the resolution and he didn’t think it would have support of the majority of the board, since the town last year eliminated several positions and has said it will not create new positions.

Mr. Coates arrived to Town Hall about 6:30 p.m. with former Brookhaven supervisor John LaMura, who now represents clients in Riverhead as an attorney.

Tonight’s Riverhead Town Board meeting is at 7 p.m., and News-Review reporter Tim Gannon will be reporting live from the meeting.

Click on the blog below to follow along:

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