There was not enough space here last week to elaborate on the remarkable commitment Suffolk County has made — despite a drumbeat of opposition from western Suffolk legislators — to the preservation of two parcels totalling about 83 acres at Sylvester Manor. Shelter Island’s longtime preservation champion, Supervisor Jim Dougherty, made the point himself in a recent talk to the Shelter Island Association that the county’s dire economic condition might have spoiled both development-rights deals. But thanks to diligent professionals on the county staff and the leadership of the county executive’s office, the county is paying the lion’s share of the bill — $4.4 out of $7.2 million.
The supervisor himself and the entire Town Board deserve high praise for their efforts. They had the wind at their backs, though, with widespread public support; the county, working in a hostile environment, persevered through blustery headwinds to do the right thing.