The Town of Riverhead is governed by an elected, five-person Town Board consisting of four councilpersons and the town supervisor. The town supervisor is also the town's chief fiscal officer and police commissioner.
The Town Board also serves as the governing body of the Riverhead Water District, the Riverhead Sewer District, the Riverhead Community Development Agency and the Riverhead Business Improvement District.
Each of the four council members is elected to staggered four-year terms, so that every two years, the terms of two council members expire. The town supervisor is elected to a two-year term of office.
The annual salary for each councilperson is $47,597. The salary for the town supervisor is $115,147.
Each person on the Town Board, including the supervisor, has one vote on all matters that come before it. The board sets the town's operating and capital budgets, authorizes bonding to finance capital projects, hires and fires employees, and makes laws and codes that affect the use of land and other activities within the town.
Riverhead Town voters also elect a town clerk (four-year term at a salary of $72,386 per year), a superintendent of highways (four-year term at a salary of $81,844 per year), a receiver of taxes (four-year term at a salary of $69, 597 per year), and three assessors (four-year terms, each with a salary of $72,386 per year). The chairperson of the board of assessors receives an extra stipend of $9,332.
Also elected are two town justices (four-year terms at annual salaries of $73,011) who preside over the Riverhead Town Justice Court, which has both civil and criminal jurisdiction within the town.
The Town Board appoints the members of the planning board, zoning board of appeals and other boards that assist in town governance, such as the conservation advisory council and architectural review board. The town board also appoints the members of the Riverhead Industrial Development Agency.
The town's 2012 townwide operating budget is $51.6 million.
Riverhead Town major special district operating budgets for 2012:
Riverhead water district: $6.6 million
Riverhead sewer district: $3.3 million
Riverhead garbage district: $5.3 million
Riverhead ambulance district: $1.4 million
Riverhead scavenger waste district: $1.3 million
Riverhead Town Board, left to right: James Wooten, John Dunleavy, Sean Walter, Jodi Giglio, George Gabrielsen.