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Mason Haas, longtime Riverhead assessor, to leave behind big shoes to fill after retirement

There will be quite a few vacancies in Riverhead soon when Mason Haas and wife, Maureen, move to Florida.

Mr. Haas will be resigning his position as Riverhead Town Assessor, but his impact on the community is felt in many more ways as well.

There will also be vacancies on the board of Jamesport Fire Commissioners; the Heidi’s Helping Angels board; the town’s East Creek Advisory board; the master of ceremonies position at the Jamesport Fire Department’s parade on Fourth of July; and at the East End Emerald Society’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, all volunteer positions held by Mr. Haas.

He has been an elected assessor for Riverhead Town since 2007. His resume also includes being on the board of the Police Athletic League, making chowder at Riverhead High School football games, and being a former chief of the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance. Mr. Haas also served as chair of the Riverhead Republican Committee for a time.

Before becoming an assessor, he was as a real estate title examiner.

“I’m going to miss the community of Riverhead,” he said. “Riverhead has a very big heart to it. I’ll miss the farmers, I’ll miss all my friends. Just the community itself, because it’s so quick to step up to the plate to help people out. It just amazes me. We are still a working family town and I think that helps with its character.”

Mr. Haas said the reason he’s moving is COVID-19, and the impact it has had on his wife’s title examiner business, which is hurt by the fact that the county center still hasn’t reopened full time. Mr. Haas said his wife will continue to work in Florida. But not him.

“I’m just going to be retired and stay away from politics,” he said.

“We talked about this and talked about it and finally said, ‘it’s time.’ ”

They will move on Feb. 26.

By moving to Florida, he said, they will be able to see more of his three great-grandchildren, six grandchildren and four children.

“We’re just counting down the days,” he said. “We’re going to enjoy exploring Florida.”

His spot on the board of assessors will initially be filled by Town Board appointment and that person will have to run for election to the remaining three years on Mr. Haas’s term in November.

“My wife is happy. I’m happy. It’s our new adventure,” Mr. Haas said.