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11/04/17 6:00am
11/04/2017 6:00 AM

It’s likely that local drivers have noticed “Vote No!” bumper stickers and lawn signs around town, but what do they refer to?

New York State’s constitution requires that every 20 years the people decide if a constitutional convention should be held to consider amendments, according to the state Board of Elections.


11/03/17 6:00am

Tax Assessor
Four-year term; one open seat
Salary: $83,846

Susan Ambro

Hamlet: Wading River

Occupation: Attorney

Party lines: Democratic, Independence, Working Families

About her: Ms. Ambro, 58, is an attorney with the Suffolk County Legal Aid Society, where she represents clients who cannot afford to pay. A graduate of the University of Bridgeport law school, she has been an attorney for 31 years. Ms. Ambro’s husband, Richard, is a state Supreme Court Judge in Suffolk County.

Ms. Ambro did not respond to a questionnaire sent to candidates by the Riverhead News-Review and was not present last Thursday at the only public candidate forum that included the assessor candidates.

In May, when she was nominated to run for assessor, she said, “I’ve been amazed over the years at how nothing has ever come out of the assessors’ office that was ever good for me, and maybe for most of the people who sit here. I think it’s an office that’s overlooked because it’s not the supervisor or the council or maybe because it’s not making policy. But in a way, it is, because it’s dealing with your most important asset — your cold, hard cash.”

She said she feels the assessors’ office lacks accountability.

Laverne Tennenberg

Hamlet: Riverhead

Occupation: Assessor (incumbent)

Party lines: Republican, Conservative

About her: Ms. Tennenberg, 59, is a Riverhead native and graduate of Hofstra University. She holds the NYS designation of professional assessor and is responsible for the valuation of $7 billion in real property. She says she has a comprehensive knowledge of the real property tax law and is proficient in all assessment administration functions. She was first elected in 1989.

Her pitch: Ms. Tennenberg said she strives to educate taxpayers about the property tax system, which can be complex and confusing. Over the years, she said, she’s computerized many assessment functions to increase efficiency in the office. Property tax exemptions are a large part of her work, she said, and all applications are reviewed carefully for eligibility. She recently helped taxpayers in manufactured home communities receive STAR property tax credit checks that were owed to them from 2016, she said.

In her words: “This personal touch has been the hallmark of my tenure with the town, and is what I believe to be the primary function of all public employees … to provide the best service possible.”

11/03/17 6:00am

Highway Superintendent
Four-year term
Salary: $94,803

George Woodson

Hamlet: Riverhead

Occupation: Highway superintendent

Party lines: Democratic, Independence, Working Families

About him: Born and raised in Riverhead, Mr. Woodson, 56, graduated from Riverhead High School, served in the U.S. Army as a military police traffic accident investigator, and served as an officer for six years in the Riverhead Fire Department and a chief for seven. He has over 35 years of service in the town, eight of which were as highway superintendent. Mr. Woodson said he started at the bottom and worked his way to the top position.

He is the only candidate on the ballot, although William Van Helmond is running a write-in campaign.

His pitch: “I have worked hard for the last eight years to make our department one of the best on Long Island,” Mr. Woodson said. “Our equipment is up to date and always progressing. I am attending conferences to keep up with the latest technologies, and we just recently built a new building to keep most of our equipment out of the weather.”

He said the highway department, through careful spending, is always looking for good, used equipment to save the taxpayers money.

In his words: “I’m always giving 100 percent to the job, I’ve brought over $800,000 back to the highway department, I’m always looking for ways to make the department more efficient, and lastly, to leave the department better than when I took it over.”