Featured Letter: An ‘F’ for Supervisor Walter

To the editor:

Last week, Sean Walter’s signature solutions for our town — a multi-million dollar “bridge” loan and specifics of a reuse plan prepared by his hand-picked, no-bid $600,000 consultant for EPCAL — were overwhelmingly rejected by his fellow Town Board members as well as the public. The repudiation of Mr. Walter’s ideas came just before his model for Riverhead’s downtown renaissance — The Riverhead Project — announced its demise, joining other shuttered businesses. Thus, Mr. Walter gets an “F” on follow-through on his three main campaign promises: developing EPCAL, revitalizing our downtown and getting the town’s finances under control.

Although the position of the people was loud and clear, it remains to be seen if Mr. Walter is still too out of touch to carry through on the public’s wishes. Shutting down discourse when the town is facing perhaps its greatest challenges ever hardly seems prudent or wise. Nor does a new line for landfill debt on our tax bills or re-labeling a loan as a “standby letter of credit” in a desperate effort to bail out a bloated Town Hall inspire confidence in the supervisor.

Although I and many believe that Mr. Walter’s disappointing legacy after almost half a dozen years in office is one of ineffectiveness, it is vital for the supervisor to open his eyes and ears, sharpen his pencil and implement the public’s message.

Ron Hariri, Aquebogue
Mr. Hariri screened for the Democratic nomination for town supervisor in 2011.