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Voters Guide

James M. Wooten |

James M. Wooten is running for Riverhead town council member

James M. Wooten

Wooten successfully pushed to open two town dog parks, secured the 7-acre Sound Avenue Nature Preserve with Community Protection Funds and sponsored the Riverhead Town bill to remove double utility poles. Policies he helped push streamlined police department shifts to reduce overtime, he said. If re-elected, he expects to tackle zoning issues on Main Street in order to attract new year-round housing, which also would help surrounding businesses. "If we do it in a smart way, 250 to 300 apartments, it's enough to sustain the businesses in the wintertime," Wooten said. He also says he expects an engineering firm's plan for re-use at Enterprise Park at Calverton to be completed this year. When the plan is approved the lots can be sold off and developed, he said.

Wooten, 55, a town board member completing his second term, is running on the Republican line. He is a Riverhead High School graduate who joined the town police department at 22 and retired in 2005. At the time, he also was president of the Riverhead Police Benevolent Association. Wooten was named Crime Prevention Officer of the Year by New York State for his work on neighborhood watch programs in 1999. He was a school bus driver before his election to the town board. Wooten is a trustee at the First Congregational Church in Riverhead. He also is on the board of Riverhead Townscape, a nonprofit that raises money to beautify Main Street and the parks. He is married and has one child.