Election 2017

Election 2017: Riverhead Town Board candidates

Riverhead Town Board

Four-year term, two open seats

Salary: $48,955

Frank Beyrodt

Hamlet: Baiting Hollow

Occupation: Farmer/businessman

Party lines: Republican, Conservative

About him: Mr. Beyrodt, 50, is a member of the third generation of the DeLea sod family. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Pace University and a master’s degree from LIU Post. He’s the past president of the Long Island Farm Bureau and is on the board of directors of Island Harvest food bank. He participates in the Riverhead Town TDR subcommittee and is a co-chair of the New York State Advisory Council on Agriculture, as appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. He lives with his wife and three children.

His pitch: Running a large, family business has given Mr. Beyrodt experience in problem-solving and making common-sense decisions, he said. He’s been an outspoken advocate for the issues of farmland preservation and hunger on Long Island. Working within the framework of a budget is critical in a business’ success, as it should be in government, he said.

In his words: “I would be honored to work for the people of Riverhead on the Riverhead Town Board tackling the important issues of our great town. I pledge that my time in the next four years will be spent making Riverhead a better place, not only for my family, but yours too.”

Jodi Giglio

Hamlet: Baiting Hollow

Occupation: Land use and construction management

Party lines: Republican, Conservative, Independence

About her: Ms. Giglio, 49, has lived in Riverhead for nearly 20 years. She grew up in Wantagh and then California before moving back to New York at 19. After losing her first husband at the age of 27, she remarried in 2000 and moved to Riverhead. She said she attended Stony Brook University in the evenings to pursue a business management degree. She ran for supervisor in the 2015 election, losing to incumbent Sean Walter. She lives with her husband, Michael, and their three children.

Her pitch: Ms. Giglio said she’s made herself available to residents and works well with others. She said quality-of-life issues are important to her and to residents, which she said is evident by the 44 complaints received this year on overcrowded, illegal rental housing.

She said she will continue to vote no on housing and retail at Enterprise Park at Calverton and will focus on bringing job creators to the industrial park. She said the IDA should be back in the hands of the Town Board for better accountability. Her biggest accomplishment, she said, has been voting against a settlement in a lawsuit challenging the town master plan, a case the town eventually won.

In her words: “I am a dedicated public servant who is passionate about my job and serving the people. I am a problem-solver and will continue to analyze and solve many problems that our residents and employees are faced with.”

Catherine Kent

Hamlet: Baiting Hollow

Occupation: Retired teacher

Party lines: Democratic, Independent, Women’s Equality, Working Families

About her: Ms. Kent, 61, is a lifelong Riverhead resident and mother of three. After graduating from Riverhead High School, she earned a bachelor’s degree from Central Methodist University and then obtained a master’s degree from Stony Brook University. She recently retired from a 31-year teaching career in Riverhead schools.

Her pitch: During her tenure as a teacher she has shown a proven work ethic and clear understanding of the struggles facing families in Riverhead, she said. As a community advocate, she has worked on issues such as advocating for more state aid for Riverhead schools and has acquired leadership skills needed to collaborate and effectively resolve issues. She plans to use a common-sense approach, listen to constituents and bring people together and advocate for the town. Issues she hopes to address are the future of EPCAL, IDA tax incentives, downtown parking, traffic congestion on County Road 58 and rising taxes.

In her words: “Honest, diligent and hardworking, I am committed to work full time for the people of Riverhead and the betterment of our town.”

Michele Lynch

Hamlet: Riverhead

Occupation: Retired

Party lines: Democratic, Working Families, Women’s Equality

About her: Ms. Lynch, 67, has been married for 35 years to Tom, a retired Riverhead police sergeant. She worked for 20 years at Peconic Bay Medical Center, and recently retired after 17 years from a health care union that represents hospitals, nursing homes, home health aides and drugstore workers.

Her pitch: Ms. Lynch said she has experience in contract negotiations, arbitrations and labor management. She says she’s worked across all party lines with all levels of government, working together with religious and community groups to help pass legislation on paid family leave, advanced home health aid, domestic worker rights, living wage laws and more. She said she hopes to bring her administration skills and business experience to the Town Board.

In her words: “I promise to work diligently for a beneficial use of EPCAL and fight to protect it from becoming a residential housing development.

I will use my proactive skills as an organizer, negotiator and a consensus builder to bring together town officials, community leaders, businesses and residents to collaborate for a vibrant, welcoming downtown.”