A look back: This week in Shelter Island history

 

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | Supervisor Art Williams helped raise a campaign banner outside GOP headquarters in the Center 10 years ago.. He was the incumbent in 2003 who bested former Supervisor Gerry Siller making a bid to return to the office.

10 YEARS AGO
Starting guns sounds for campaign

With the arrival of fall-like weather, political banners started coming out as candidates began their campaigns in earnest in 2003.

There were seven positions at stake, including that of Supervisor Art Williams against the man he defeated two years earlier, former Supervisor Gerry Siller. There were two Town Board seats being contested. Incumbents Paul Mobius and James Messer ran in primary contests — Mr. Mobius challenged by Democrat Arthur “Bud” Fox and Mr. Messer facing a challenge from Republican Peter Reich.

Incumbent Highway Department Superintendent Mark Ketcham was being challenged by Hans Schmid. There were also several races not contested — Al Hammond and John Cronin  as assessors; and Nancy Kotula running unopposed and endorsed by both Democrats and Republicans for Tax Receiver. Judge Edward “Pete” Hannabury was running unopposed for another term on the Justice Court bench. It was a sweep for incumbents.
POSTSCRIPT: Although a few signs are evident around town, this year’s election is a quiet one with only one contested race — Democrat Robert Reylek trying to unseat one of the two incumbents — Republican Chris Lewis or Conservative Ed Brown. There’s also a race for a Suffolk County Legislature seat currently held by Independent Jay Schneiderman facing opposition from Republican Chris Nuzzi, who is term-limited as a Southampton Town Board member. The Reporter will be moderating a debate between the two at the Shelter Island Public Library on Saturday, October 12, at 11 a.m.

20 YEARS AGO
Cleaning the creeks

Christopher Smith of Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Marine Program told the Shelter Island Conservation Advisory Committee in 1993 that he had obtained a federal grant to install water-runoff filter strips at the head of Gardiners Creek. The strips were intended to prevent harmful coliform bacteria and other pollutants from washing into the creek from nearby Route 114. Gardiners Creek was selected as the original site for use of the strips because of its shellfish population and its potential for improvement, according to CAC chair Sharon Kast. Maureen Davidson of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said the strips were one means of mitigating a source of coliforms going into the creek that could have a positive effect on shell fishing in the area. If the situation in the creek worsened, it could result in being closed to shell fishing, she said. Other areas eventually due to get the strips back in 1993 were Chase Creek, Hudson Avenue and Gardiners Bay Drive.
POSTSCRIPT: Today, the DEC and federal Environmental Protection Agency have been pushing an MS4 stormwater runoff program throughout the area, pushing municipalities to take steps to protect waterways from pollution. Unfortunately, the efforts are expensive and there’s no state or federal money flowing to offset the costs, so while a lot of communities have plans in place, only some steps have been able to be implemented. Shelter Island, long concerned about water quality that affects both fishing and drinking water, has been among leaders in making efforts to protect waterways even before the MS4 program went into effect.

30 YEARS AGO
School Board studies architectural review

Thirty years ago, the Board of Education was reviewing a plan drafted by Beatty, Brunjes and Associates for improvements to both the inside and outside of the building. A second study drafted by a team of faculty and non-instructional district personnel also submitted its study of building needs based on educational specifications. Beatty, Brunjes suggested work it estimated at a cost of $411,670 to repair the heating, electrical and ventilation systems, plumbing and general structural requirements. Priorities would be established based on health and safety concerns and compliance with state law, Superintendent Frederick Bement said. Most of the repairs the company cited resulted from the building’s age and vandalism.
POSTSCRIPT: During the past two years, the school has undergone major repairs, most recently including new windows and a new water tank and the previous summer, a new generator, improved ventilation and lighting, new tiling and painting. This summer, there was also a redistribution of space use throughout the building to accommodate both academic and safety concerns.

50 YEARS AGO
Democrats to run six; not opposing Griffing

The Shelter Island Democratic Party 50 years ago was poised to run six candidates for town posts, but opted not to oppose incumbent Supervisor Evans Griffing, who was heading the Republican slate for the sixth consecutive time. Louis Price had attempted to win the supervisor’s seat in 1959, losing by only two votes. He tried again in 1961 and was again defeated, that time by a vote of 553 to 387. In 1963, he chose to toss his hat into the ring not for the supervisor’s post but for a Town Board seat. He won, defeating Republican Gilbert Clark by a vote of 461 to 424.
POSTSCRIPT: This year, it’s the Republicans sitting out the supervisor’s race with Democratic incumbent Jim Dougherty assured a fourth two-year term.