Election 2019: Riverhead Town Supervisor candidates
Occupation: supervisor, registered nurse
Party lines: Democratic, Working Families, Independence
About her: Laura Jens-Smith, 56, lives in Laurel with her husband, Robert. She was elected Riverhead Town supervisor in 2017, when defeating then-incumbent Republican Sean Walter by 649 votes. Prior to that, she ran for a Town Council seat in 2015 and was defeated.
Ms. Jens-Smith also served on the Mattituck-Cutchogue Board of Education for six years, and was its president when she was elected supervisor.
Raised in Port Jefferson, she attended Comsewogue High School and received an associate degree from the Phillips Beth Israel School of Nursing and a bachelor’s degree from Pace University.
Her pitch: Ms. Jens-Smith has been critical of the deal to sell 1,643 acres of town-owned land at the Enterprise Park at Calverton to Calverton Aviation & Technology, and also of some of the five-story buildings coming to downtown Riverhead, which were approved before she took office.
Ms. Jens-Smith and Councilwoman Catherine Kent, both Democrats, are in a 3-2 minority on the board, and were outvoted when CAT was declared “qualified and eligible” to buy and develop the land at EPCAL.
In her words: “You want to be as transparent as possible. One of the first things I did when I came into office was to televise our meetings. We show our meetings live.”
Occupation: real estate agent, professor, retired police sergeant
Party lines: Republican, Conservative
About her: Ms. Aguiar, 60, is a retired New York Police Department sergeant, an associate professor at American Military University and a licensed real estate agent. She has a doctorate in business administration from Northcentral University as well as a master’s in public administration and a B.S. in criminal Justice, both from John Jay College.
This is her first run for public office.
Her pitch: Ms. Aguiar has been critical of the town’s handling of illegal and overcrowded housing and has released a 10-point plan for dealing with the problem on her website. Ms. Aguiar also has supported the town’s pending deal to sell 1,643 acres at EPCAL to Calverton Aviation & Technology for $40 million, saying that the infrastructure that needs to be built there will cost more than $100 million, and that the town is losing property taxes by not selling the land and getting it back on the tax rolls.
In her words: “I have the skills of management, leadership, budgeting and finance, both public and private sector. My experience and knowledge has prepared me to service you.”