A look back at this week in Shelter Island history

FILE PHOTO | Clara Barksdale, who helped develop the Senior Citizens Affairs Council, was the 1993 Lions Club Citizen of the Year. Then Lions Club president Bruce Jernick hosted the dinner at the Heights Firehouse that honored Ms. Barksdale.

Williams to seek second term

Ten years ago, Art Williams was Shelter Island Town supervisor and announced his intention to seek a second two-year term. He said at the time that a two-year term is too short since new office holders spend the first year just getting familiar with “the lay of the land.” He planned to ask voters for two more years to “really accomplish some of the goals that we set out to accomplish in this administration.” It was a squeaker in November, but voters returned Mr. Williams to office by a vote of 783 to 727 for Democratic opponent Gerry Siller.
POSTSCRIPT: Supervisor Jim Dougherty has let it be known that he intends to run for a third term in November. Two years ago, he had to await a Suffolk County Board of Elections recount that determined he had won a third term, defeating Glenn Waddington and Bob DeStefano. Mr. Dougherty became the first person to win a third term as supervisor since Hoot Sherman did it in 1995.

Lions honor Barksdale

Twenty years ago this month, the Shelter Island Lions Club honored Clara Barksdale as its Citizen of the Year. Ms. Barksdale was selected for her role in the development of the Senior Citizens Affairs Council. The dinner honoring Ms. Barksdale was held at the Heights Firehouse.
POSTSCRIPT: This month, Michael Coles is the Lions’ honoree. He was selected for what Lions president Dr. Frank Adipietro said were his contributions that “bridge the gap between those in financial need and organizations in need of his relentless diplomacy.”

Town approves 14 stop signs in Heights

In the interest of making driving safer on the Island, the Town Board approved 14 new stop signs, increased no parking areas and reduced the speed limit in the Heights to 25 mph.  To questions from some residents about why some of those stop signs were needed, Hoot Sherman, who back in 1983, was Heights Property Owners Corporation manager, replied that the postings would keep the HPOC out of legal trouble. Prior to passing the amendment, police couldn’t enforce existing signs in the Heights that hadn’t been included in the original ordinance.
POSTSCRIPT: The speed limit remains at 25 mph in the Heights and there are still no red lights anywhere on the Island.

LILCO promises alternate electrical field

Forty years ago, the entire Island’s electrical feed was carried on a utility pole located on a curve on Route 25 in Southold. Auto accidents had resulted in two outages here — one lasting for about eight hours, and another for about an hour. Concerns grew because aside from the general inconvenience residents and business owners experienced, the outages knocked out emergency alarms that could result in serious consequences, then Town Supervisor Thomas Jernick said. Long Island Lighting Company, the pre-runner to today’s Long Island Power Authority, promised in May 1973 that recommendations would be made to provide Shelter Island with an alternate feed from Southold.
POSTSCRIPT: Today, the Island is dependent on two under water cables that carry current to the Island, but one is out of order since Superstorm Sandy and increased use of electricity during summer months threatened to result in blackouts or rolling brownouts if a new cable isn’t installed. LIPA is at work on the cable that town officials say will be completed by late June — if there are no unforeseen circumstances that further delay the project.