Why I am Running. Nov 4, 2019

My kids go to school here.  

My business is here.

My roots are here. 

My friends and family are here. 

We all want to live in a town that we can afford and be proud of.

I’m running for office because I believe in Riverhead.

I’m a 4th generation Riverheader. I grew up working on my grandparents farm in Baiting Hollow. I’m now raising my 3 children in Riverhead. I face the same challenges in Riverhead that you do and I’m actively doing something about it.  

What’s made my approach successful? You. My proven track record in engaging the community demonstrates concrete change.

At Town hall they made some bad deals when we weren’t paying attention. Working side-by-side with the board, community leaders and residents, I will help to carefully frame the issues so it’s easier for you to engage. Government needs residents in the process. It needs to reflect and protect our diverse community.  I will operate with transparency and urgency.  I’m a proven leader who listens and who leads by example, is inclusive, and inspires others to work to their potential.  I will fight to represent your concerns and ask the hard questions.

Overcrowding:  Most residents only realized the impact of our overcrowding issue in the schools when the $100 million bond was proposed.  Landlords should know that it will no longer be profitable to run illegal and unsafe housing in Riverhead. Let’s identify clearly what legal remedies we can apply to the problems we identify.  We can’t afford to create other problems, such as collateral homelessness. We must deal with the human impact of any enforcement changes and have a solid plan to cope with mitigating and accommodating growth.

Downtown Revitalization:  We need to ensure that we preserve the charm and beauty of our community.  We all can see that big square ‘monster’ apartment buildings are not part of our visual character.  Designed without considering the parking and school impacts they only add insult to injury. I will actively participate in planning projects such as drafting the Pattern Book (which I call a Vision Book) and Master Plan updates to responsibly support our future.

COMMUNITY BUILDING: I am trained to design and produce activities that attract participation, boost morale and create business and employment opportunities. The methods are working, bringing people downtown. In four years we drew over 100,000 participants to our downtown activities to frequent local businesses and fill our streets and parks. Successful communities across the country are producing activities in their downtowns with a focus on fostering arts and culture.  In fact, compared to many of them, Riverhead has better resources and is uniquely suited to launching major community rebuilding initiatives leveraging the participation of non-residents and visitors to the region. 

My specific skills and unique network for community building are derived from an ongoing learning collaboration with the nationally recognized Creative Placemaking organization, WaterFire and from implementing elements of their specialized report (BOA) on Riverhead’s potential for rebuilding our community.

We need an advocate for Small Business:  I have experienced, first hand, what it means to struggle in this business environment.  I have the knowhow to work with small businesses, respond to their needs and support their vital success. As a small business owner and having headed the BID and the Chamber, I can support revitalization by advocating for small businesses at town hall.  Open store fronts bring vitality and feet on the street which means safety, convenience and supports our neighbors. 

Proactive Community Leadership: The progress I’ve made in Riverhead is due to continuous direct contact with the community.  Communication between government and residents, facilitating community engagement, is what will empower us all to manage our town’s resources proactively and not simply to react to crises. 

Preserving farmlands is at the foundation of our heritage. Our farms need a traffic solution. Not every neighborhood has the same challenges.  Localized issues need to be addressed, for example helicopter noise and traffic congestion.  

Let’s rebuild Riverhead’s community to keep our families close. Let’s build a great place to be that offers our youth career paths so they choose to stay.  Let’s create options for seniors so they don’t have to leave their children and grandchildren. We need to unite, protect and embrace our diverse community. It’s our town. We can and must turn this situation around, enough pointing fingers. Together we can make the future that we want for ourselves and our families. 

Diane Tucci

(D) Candidate for Riverhead Town Council 2019

Treasurer for Wading River Boy Scout Troop 94, and Vice President of the Middle School PTO and volunteer with Riverhead CAP! 

P.s.  Get out and Vote ! Community engagement starts with voting. Get out and make your voice heard. Democracy is government of the people, by the people and for the people!


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