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Councilwoman Catherine Kent takes over as deputy supe

Councilwoman Catherine Kent will serve as Riverhead Town’s deputy supervisor in 2019, and will be paid an additional $100 per month. 

She replaces Councilman Tim Hubbard, who was appointed to the position at the same additional salary last March.

Under town law, the position is an appointment by the supervisor, although the full Town Board votes on the salary. The appointment runs through the end of the year. 

The annual salary for the elected council position is $48,955.

Ms. Kent, like Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith, is a Democrat, whereas Mr. Hubbard is a Republican, the party that has a 3-2 majority on the board, which means that Ms. Jens-Smith crossed party lines in appointing Mr. Hubbard to the post last February. 

The board approved the $100 per month salary boost last Thursday by a vote of 3-0, with Mr. Hubbard, Ms. Jens-Smith and Councilman Jim Wooten voting yes. Councilwoman Jodi Giglio was absent and Ms. Kent abstained. Last February’s salary vote had also been unanimous.

“It was just a choice,” Ms. Jens-Smith said of her decision to appoint Ms. Kent, indicating that it’s good to move the deputy position around. 

Historically, Riverhead’s deputy supervisor position has sometimes been given to a full-time salaried person who is not a board member, while at other times, it’s been given to a council member. 

Former supervisor Sean Walter had a full-time person in his office serve as deputy supervisor. 

“I want to take a moment to thank Councilman Hubbard for serving in this role this past year,” Ms. Kent said. “Anyone who knows Councilman Hubbard knows how much he loves our town. And he’s pretty easy to work with.”

Ms. Jens-Smith also thanked Mr. Hubbard. 

“Especially since this was my first year, which was a challenge coming in,” she said.

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