Robert Calarco, Chairman
Robert Calarco has served as assistant regional director for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Region 1 office since January of 2022.
Prior to joining the NYSDEC, Calarco served as presiding officer of the Suffolk County Legislature, where he led the legislative body through the uncharted waters of the COVID-19 pandemic and emergency response, supporting fellow legislators and advocating for the public during the pandemic’s most difficult times. As presiding officer, Calarco championed environmental issues including water quality, wastewater infrastructure, invasive species and regional watershed improvement initiatives. He also promoted transparency in government, sponsoring in 2020 a law that provided clarity in regard to the use of tax dollars supporting Suffolk County Community College.
Calarco served for a decade in the Legislature prior to becoming presiding officer, representing the 7th Legislative District. During his tenure, he chaired the Government Operations, Personnel, Information Technology and Housing Committee as well as the Budget and Finance Committee. He also served as vice chair of the Public Safety Committee and as a member of the Public Works, Transportation and Energy Committee, the Education and Human Services Committee and the Ways and Means Committee.
Calarco is a member of numerous community and fraternal organizations, including St. Sylvester’s Knights of Columbus, Sons of Italy Sgt. John Basilone Lodge, the Greater Patchogue Historical Society, the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce, the Medford Chamber of Commerce, the Bayport-Blue Point Chamber of Commerce, the Gordon Heights Chamber of Commerce and the Patchogue Garden Club.
Calarco earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Dowling College and a master’s degree in public administration from Stony Brook University.
Steven Bellone, Member
Steven Bellone was sworn into office as Suffolk County’s eighth county executive on January 1, 2012.
Representing approximately 1.5 million Suffolk residents, Bellone has saved tens of millions of taxpayer dollars through reform measures, created jobs, improved water quality to safeguard the region’s water supply and enhanced the quality of life of Suffolk residents by improving public safety and investing in county parks and roads.
Bellone as county executive has emphasized economic development and fostering a local economy designed to keep young professionals on Long Island. His Connect Long Island vision aims to invest in an upgraded rapid transportation system that will connect universities, research centers, downtowns, and parks. The plan is designed to strengthen local businesses by expanding natural customer bases and develop the necessary infrastructure to provide residents with north/south transportation options.
Prior to his election as county executive, Bellone served as Babylon Town supervisor from 2001-2011. As supervisor, Bellone trimmed the government workforce while maintaining the same high-level government services. He reduced the town’s debt every year, while delivering substantial tax cuts to residents.
As Babylon Town Supervisor, Bellone launched Wyandanch Rising in 2002, a comprehensive, community-based revitalization plan that redevelops the area surrounding the Wyandanch Long Island Rail Road station into a pedestrian-friendly and vibrant downtown.
Bellone is a graduate of North Babylon High School and earned a Bachelor of Arts at Queens College in 1991. Enlisting in the United States Army in 1992, Bellone served as a communications specialist stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. During his service in the Army, he was awarded commendations for meritorious service and earned a Master of Public Administration by attending night classes at Webster University. Bellone earned a law degree from Fordham University and was admitted to the New York State Bar Association in 1999.
Yvette Aguiar, Commission Member
Yvette Aguiar was elected Town of Riverhead supervisor in November of 2019, making her the first Latina to hold the title of town supervisor in Suffolk County.
As supervisor, Aguiar serves as Riverhead’s chief executive officer, police commissioner, chief financial officer and chairperson of the Town Board and oversees the town’s approximately $100 million operating budget.
Until recently and prior to being elected supervisor, Aguiar served for eight years as an associate professor in the Global Intelligence and Security Management program at the American Military university. Aguiar taught master level courses in ethics, security management, homeland security and criminal justice. Aguiar earned a PhD in Business Administration from Northcentral University in 2011, and both a Master’s degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from John Jay College.
Aguiar served for 20 years in the NYPD, including time as a supervisor in the counterterrorism unit established by the department after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. She was a first responder at the World Trade Center and injured that day in the line of duty. She retired as a detective sergeant. Aguiar is FBI-trained in criminal profiling, crime scene investigation, surveillance and in interview and interrogation techniques. She also has a substantial amount of FEMA preparedness and business continuity training and experience.
In 1999, Aguiar moved to Hampton Bays and in 2014 settled in Riverhead in her new home. Aguiar was born and raised in the Bronx. She is also a New York State licensed real estate agent. She is an active member in the Riverhead Lions Club, Riverhead Elks Club and Riverhead Moose Club. In 1987, she was named Bronx Kiwanis Civil Servant of the Year and in 2018 she was honored as the Suffolk County Republican Women’s Club’s Woman of the Year. Both her and her husband raise future guide dogs for the Guide Dog Foundation of Smithtown.
Edward P. Romaine, Member
Ed Romaine is Brookhaven Town’s 70th supervisor, having been elected to that office during a special election in 2012 and re-elected for full two-year terms in 2013 and 2015.
As supervisor, Romaine has championed environmental and quality of life issues in Brookhaven Town while strengthening Town finances. During his first year in office as Supervisor, Romaine spearheaded legislation unanimously approved by the Town Board and embraced by residents, environmentalists and the building community to forever protect the Carmans River. He also introduced legislation that has strengthened the town’s housing codes and has aggressively prosecuted problem landlords that have impacted neighborhoods throughout the Town.
Romaine continues to champion environmental issues. Under his leadership, Brookhaven was named a Tree City USA in 2016 and 2017 and received nearly a million dollars in state grants in 2016 to work on major environmental projects that directly impact Long Island. Romaine continues to pioneer environmental programs that serve to better Brookhaven Town, including Citizen Ranger, townwide cleanup days, and Explore the Estuary. He brought single-stream recycling to Brookhaven in 2014, making the town the leader in this technology on Long Island. He has reduced millions of dollars in pipeline debt and maintained the Town’s strong AAA credit rating, while also holding the line on total town property taxes in his 2017 budget.
Romaine began his career in public service as a history teacher in the Hauppauge School District, where he taught for ten years. In 1980, he entered public service as the Town of Brookhaven’s first Commissioner of Housing and Community Development and was later appointed Director of Economic Development.
Romaine was a member of the Suffolk County Legislature from 1986 through 1989, where he was known as a fiscal conservative, sponsoring such cost-saving measures as the Suffolk County Tax Cap. He also established a record as a fighter for the environment by authoring Suffolk’s first Clean Water Act. In 1989, he was elected Suffolk County Clerk and served for 16 years, taking an active role in increasing productivity and improving access to official records. He was recognized as a pioneer in government use of technology and was chosen “2001 New York State County Clerk of the Year.”
In 2005, Romaine was again elected to the County Legislature, representing the First Legislative District and re-elected in 2007, 2009, and 2011. As a county legislator, Romaine preserved countless acres of open space in eastern Brookhaven, the North Fork and Shelter Island. He sponsored landmark legislation including “Michael’s Law” banning explosive fuel gels, the state’s first local law to regulate helicopter traffic and a law establishing the LIPA Oversight Commission. He also reduced the tax burden on residents by promoting smart government initiatives and real tax reform.
Romaine earned a B.A. in History from Adelphi University and a Masters in History from Long Island University.
Jay H. Schneiderman, Member
Jay Schneiderman was inaugurated as the supervisor of Southampton Town in 2016. He previously served as a Suffolk County legislator from 2004-2015. Throughout his 12-year tenure, he distinguished himself through his independence, innovation, efforts to create better affordable housing opportunities, preserve open space, reduce traffic congestion, keep neighborhoods safe and help seniors and local families. He served as the Legislature’s deputy presiding officer from 2014 until the end of his term the following December.
Schneiderman, formerly of Montauk, but now residing in Southampton, also has the unique distinction of being elected supervisor of both South Fork towns, serving in East Hampton Town from 2000-2004. In that capacity he delivered four consecutive tax cuts, improved employee morale and garnered the highest municipal bond rating in New York State. He led the fight to preserve more than 1,000 acres of open space and worked closely with fellow board members to draft long-range plans for affordable housing and drinking water protection.
Immediately prior to his two terms as supervisor, Schneiderman was a member of East Hampton’s Zoning Board of Appeals, and was elected its chairman in 1996, a capacity serviced in until 1999.
Regardless of the position held, he has never raised general fund property taxes in 16 years of elected office.
Schneiderman began his career as a science, mathematics and music teacher in East End schools. During that time, he also managed his family’s business in Montauk and later formed his own property management company.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Ithaca College, a Master of Arts in Education from the State University of New York at Cortland and a Masters in Administration from LIU Post.