Riverhead Supervisor Yvette Aguiar will not seek third term
Yvette Aguiar, who was elected in 2019 to her first term as Riverhead Town supervisor, has announced she will not seek a third term.
Aguiar, 63, the first Latina supervisor in the town's 230-year history, announced her decision late Friday in a Zoom news conference.
“Today, I am here to inform you, I will not be seeking a third term for Riverhead Town Supervisor,” Aguiar read in a statement Friday. “Please be assured in the next eleven months, I am committed to continue building our future foundation. I will leave you then with a deep-rooted foundation for progress, which will afford all our residents to prosper, with an enhanced quality of life for many years to come.”
Aguiar could not be reached Monday for comment.
In 2019, Aguiar, a Republican, defeated then-Democratic Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith in what was widely viewed as an upset.
Aguiar is only the second person of Latino heritage to hold public office in Riverhead since the mid-1970s, according to the town historian's office.
Prior to being elected, Aguiar was an NYPD counterterrorism sergeant and a licensed real estate agent.
In her statement, Aguiar highlighted several successes during her tenure, from the town's May 2021 purchase of blighted properties on Main Street that were demolished to make space for the town square to purchasing the 4.2-acre Robert Entenmann Campus property on West Second Street downtown to house the new Town Hall.
She also cited a recent article in Forbes Advisor listing Riverhead as one of the top travel destinations of 2023 as a sign that Riverhead is now “unequivocally on the map.”
“My intentions were to continue enhancing our town’s quality of life and remain intensely focused on continuing the important work vital to improving the lives of our residents,” Aguiar said. “Look around us, in three short years, we have moved our town forward in a quantum leap. There are no longer rumors, plans, studies, and empty promises.”
In the past three years, Aguiar has focused on issues from revitalizing the downtown area to pushing forward the pending $40 million land sale at the Enterprise Park at Calverton property.
In November, when the town board adopted regulations on recreational marijuana sales and consumption, she cast the dissenting vote, telling Newsday then she did so because the town’s guidelines conflict with regulations released by the New York State Office of Cannabis Management.
Town Board members did not immediately return requests for comment.
Jens-Smith, chairwoman of the Riverhead Town Democratic Committee, on Monday told Newsday she wasn’t surprised at Aguiar’s announcement.
“There’s been a lot of things going on that a lot of the residents in town are very, very unhappy with, so I’m not surprised she’s not seeking a next term since she hasn’t been able to solve a lot of the issues while she’s been supervisor,” said Jens-Smith, pointing to how residents have insisted the town update its comprehensive plan — which guides development in Riverhead — before approving new development projects in the Calverton hamlet.