Riverhead fills tax post, mulls cafe

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With hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax payments expected to come in over the next few months, Riverhead's town board has named Laurie Zaneski to a two-month term as the town receiver of taxes, filling a post that had been left vacant since the former receiver's retirement July 1.

Zaneski, the town's deputy tax receiver, has been running the office in Maryann Wowak Heilbrunn's absence, and while there was speculation about filling the post with a town board member, Riverhead officials decided to keep it vacant until the November general elections. The board voted 5-0 Wednesday to appoint Zaneski.

She holds a civil service title of account clerk typist, and had to take a leave of absence to take the temporary post, which runs from Sept. 6 to Nov. 6. Zaneski will earn a prorated annual salary of $69,597.

The board also watched for more than 90 minutes as a routine application to open a tavern turned into a marathon public hearing, with town attorney Robert Kozakiewicz and several residents questioning in lengthy detail just how Roberto Marroquin would operate the small cafe at 155 Griffing Ave.

One issue was that the plans for the 20-by-40-foot tavern included only a microwave, not a stove. Another was uncertainty about the building's owner and whether that owner had a connection to the once-controversial Crystal Bar on West Main Street, which had to shut down in 2007 because its owner, Luis Tejada -- who is also Marroquin's father -- could not get a license from the State Liquor Authority.

At the hearing, Marroquin said his father was not connected with his proposed cafe, even though his name appeared on an architect's drawing for the tavern. The matter was continued.

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