The hiring of former Congressman George Hochbrueckner was a strategic move critical to the future of Enterprise Park at Calverton.
So said Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter Friday, who explained Hochbrueckner was signed on as a lobbyist Thursday to work with the town board on the future of EPCAL for a six-month period.
"This is critical," Walter said. "We're very close, but it's very hard for a Republican supervisor in the little Town of Riverhead to get the contacts I need on the other side of the aisle."
Another plus to bringing Hochbrueckner onboard, Walter said, is that "a lot of people have been rewriting the history of ECPAL. You can't rewrite history with the man that wrote the history. He can do things we would not be able to do when people start to rewrite the history."
Should he be elected to the Suffolk County Legislature in a special election to be held on Jan. 15, Walter said his focus will remain strongly centered on EPCAL.
"If I get elected, I intend to take the power of the 18 member legislature to Albany to fight this fight," Walter said. "If I have to go back once a week, I'll do it. I'm going to push EPCAL in the same fashion -- and I just hope the board sticks with me with their vision. I know it's a long road -- and I know some people are getting weak-kneed."
Of the race for Suffolk County Legislature, in which he and opponent Southold Town Councilman Al Krupski are facing off in a Jan. 15 special election, Walter said he's "not happy" that the election takes place so soon.
"Voters don't get the chance to know Al Krupski or Sean Walter," he said.
On the flipside, if he does not win, there's "no harm, no foul."
Still, looking ahead, Walter was candid. "I've always been very honest. I've never had more the same job for more than six or eight years. I've got one more term in me."
Since taking office, Walter said he believes he's accomplished his goals, including presenting a balanced budget and sparking revitalization downtown on Main Street.
"And with the congressman's help, we'll continue to get EPCAL moving," he said.
Walter said his decision to run for legislature was "bittersweet." Several residents have told him, he said, that they won't vote for him for legislature because they want him to stay at his current post.
"The door opened for the legislature and I stepped through it on faith," Walter said. "It's a tough decision. I'm trying to walk with the Lord on this, but it's not easy."