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Aguiar sworn in as Riverhead Supervisor; promises to be 'inclusive'

Riverhead Town Supervisor Yvette Aguiar promised to represent all of Riverhead  and to include all sides in decision-making during her inauguration speech Wednesday at the Suffolk Theater.  

Ms. Aguiar, a newcomer to local politics, was elected Supervisor by a wide margin in November, when Republicans swept the three Town Board seats up for election. 

“I am committed to ensuring the health, welfare and safety of our residents,” she said Wednesday. “I will do everything in my power to ensure that I represent the entire community and we all move forward together.”

The inaugural ceremony featured the swearing in of Ms. Aguiar and councilmen Frank Beyrodt, also a newcomer, and incumbent Tim Hubbard.

Also sworn in were new Assessor Meredith Lipinsky, Town Justice Lori Hulse, deputy town supervisor Denise Merrifield and Town Clerk Diane Wilhelm, the only Democrat elected last November,

Incumbent Assessor Mason Haas and Tax Receiver Laurie Zaneski were absent. Ms. Zaneski was already sworn in prior to the ceremony. 

Ms. Aguiar said council members have agreed to work cohesively, and said she looks forward to working with Councilwoman Catherine Kent, who will be the only Democrat on the Town Board this year.

“There’s no ‘I’ in team,” the supervisor said. “My successes will be the collective result of the entire Town Council, leading and managing inclusive of the whole staff, while working together toward one common goal. 

“I have come to realize that in management, that we need to see the issues not through a myopic lens, which tend to be narrow in scope, but through a panoramic lens.”

She said Riverhead “is dynamic and has so much to offer.”

“Together we can explore its potential,” she said. “I will always have the best interest of our community before mine. I leave you with this note. Today we swore to move our government forward. However, I believe government is not the only solution. We the residents of Riverhead together are the solution.”

She was sworn in by Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine. 

Asked afterward what was going through her mind, Ms. Aguiar said she was thinking of the enormous responsibility of her new job.

“The Town of Riverhead,” she said. “It’s huge.”

She said she plans to announce a “100-day plan” next week. 

Ms. Aguiar was the only official sworn in Wednesday who made a speech. 

The inauguration saw Boy Scout Troop 94 from Wading River River greet people as they arrived, and featured two songs by the First Baptist Church of Riverhead’s choir. 

The Riverhead High School NJROTC presented the colors, a bagpipe escort was performed by the Suffolk County Police Officers’ Emerald Society and the Riverhead High School Chamber Choir sang the national anthem. 

Minister Josh Palmeri of the Living Water Church served as master of ceremonies. 

The Riverhead Fire Department and Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance were also represented. 

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