Election 2021: Superintendent of Highways


Four-Year Term | Salary $94,803


Hamlet: Aquebogue

Occupation: Heavy equipment operator

Party lines: Democratic

About him: Mr. Renten, 59, is a longtime Riverhead resident who lives in Aquebogue with his family. He served four years in the Navy and has been a member of the Riverhead Fire Department for more than 30 years, currently serving as 2nd assistant chief. He began working for Riverhead Town in the water district and has been with the highway department for the past 10 years.

His pitch: Mr. Renten said he will keep the department moving forward by maintaining the roadways and restructuring the budget as necessary. He said staffing and maintaining equipment are important will get his attention at all times. He said communication is vital for the department to run productively and he pointed to his 10 years’ experience in the department as an asset to the community. He said he will have an open-door policy and will welcome input from staff as well as community members.

In his words: “As your highway superintendent, I will continue to maintain your roadways, trim trees, maintain drains and pave roads as needed and anything else that is necessary to keep Riverhead roadways safe for everyone. My main objective is to keep the department moving forward and in a positive direction.”


Hamlet: Riverhead

Occupation: Deputy highway superintendent

Party lines: Republican, Conservative

About him: Mr. Zaleski, 48, was born and raised in Riverhead and is a graduate of Riverhead High School, where he played sports. He enjoys running three to six miles a day and has orchestrated fundraisers while completing 5Ks and 10Ks. He participates in community and church activities with his 16-year-old son. He was a shop steward and member of CSEA’s Riverhead unit. He was recognized as employee of the year in 2013.

His pitch: Mr. Zaleski has been employed in the highway department for over 27 years. For the past five years, he’s been deputy superintendent under George “Gio” Woodson. He said he takes pride in his duties and would like to continue as highway superintendent, saying he plans to lead a qualified staff to improve the town’s sidewalks, drainage and roots. He said he will keep a tight line on spending while updating equipment and continuing the department’s “excellent” snow-plowing procedures. He said he’s taught snowplow safety to local first-graders and loves being involved in the community. 

In his words: “At the age of 48 and spending over half my lifetime working for the Riverhead Highway Department, you have my word I will treat our roads with safety and efficiency being paramount.”