Islander confirmed as Suffolk planner

Edward and Patricia Shillingburg back in 2011 when their “Collected Letters of Charlotte Anne Nicoll 1820-1888,” a release of the Shelter Island Historical Society, was published. Besides their other community work. the couple has added immensely to the history of Shelter Island through their research and writing.

Shelter Islander J. Edward Shillingburg has been appointed to the Suffolk County Planning Commission, replacing long-time member Linda Holmes who at 80 has decided to step down after nine years on the job.

The Planning Commission reviews proposals from various municipalities in the county, sometimes deeming applications strictly as local issues to be decided by planners in those communities. But at other times, applications are more broad and have a greater impact that the county planners need to examine and provide guidelines for what should or shouldn’t be allowed.

Mr. Shillingburg, an attorney, was nominated by County Executive Steve Bellone at the suggestion of Supervisor Jim Dougherty and his official confirmation came at last week’s legislative session. Now it falls to Mr. Bellone to make the appointment official so Mr. Shillingburg can be on the job by the next County Planning Commission meeting in June, Ms. Holmes said.

“It’s a strong responsibility to take on what she has done,” Mr. Shillingburg said in a brief telephone interview Wednesday morning, noting that not only has Ms. Holmes been the longest serving member of the commission, but also has a reputation among her colleagues for being very outspoken.

Ms. Holmes laughed at the comment, saying that while Mr. Shillingburg makes thoughtful comments, she has tended to be more brash with her comments.

Mr. Shillingburg will be joining what Ms. Holmes describes as a commission with a lot of expertise in law, real estate and various technical aspects that typically concern planners.