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Voters to decide in 2020 whether to increase supervisor term

Riverhead Town voters will go to the polls on Nov. 2, 2020, to determine whether the supervisor’s term should be increased from two years to four.
The Town Board held a public hearing on the proposal Tuesday, and it was supported by several speakers there, after which the board approved a motion to require the Nov. 2, 2020, referendum.
If it is approved by voters, the first town election that would have a four-year supervisor term will begin Nov. 2, 2021.
Proponents of the change, including current supervisor Laura Jens-Smith, who will leave office at the end of this year, argue that the two-year term is too short, because officials have to begin campaigning again halfway through their term, making it difficult to do long-range projects.
Councilwoman Jodi Giglio opposed the measure, saying that if an official is backed by the public, he or she will be reelected. She opposed scheduling the referendum, which was supported by the other board members.
Ms. Giglio said another benefit it that the two-year term for supervisor, combined with four-year terms for council members, gives the public the ability to replace a majority of the board every two years.
Riverhead voters have rejected this same proposal three times in the past.
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