A look back: This week in Shelter Island history

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | A forum for candidates seeking to represent Shelter Island in the Suffolk County Legislature was held Saturday at the Shelter Island Public Library. Southampton Town Councilman Chris Nuzzi faced off against Legislator Jay Schneiderman. Another candidate forum was held 10 years ago.

Supervisor candidates set themes

Ten years ago, the battle for supervisor pitted one-term Republican incumbent Art Williams against former two-term supervisor Gerry Siller, running on the Democratic ticket. In a public forum, Mr. Williams argued he was the best candidate to handle fiscal management of the town, while Mr. Siller ran as the candidate out to protect home rule on the Island. In a close race, Mr. Williams’ arguments won the day as he secured a second term as town supervisor.
POSTSCRIPT: This year, Supervisor Jim Dougherty is running unopposed, but there is a race with two incumbents — Ed Brown and Chris Lewis — seeking re-election and Democrat Bob Reylek looking to fill a seat. Last Saturday, candidates for Suffolk County Legislature Jay Schneiderman and Chris Nuzzi faced off in a forum at the Shelter Island Public Library. Redistricting has moved Shelter Island from the First to the Second Legislative District.

Goody pile will continue

Twenty years ago, the Town Board debated whether to continue to allow residents to bring reusable household items to the dump without paying a fee. The long-popular program of people bringing such items to be claimed for use by their neighbors was in jeopardy because the landfill had been closed that fall and the town had enacted a $25 dumping fee per cubic yard for disposal of such items as overstuffed furniture, mattresses and rugs. That left the goody pile in limbo. Concern was that people would use the goody pile to dump items that weren’t reusable. The Town Board opted to continue the goody pile without a fee and monitor how it worked.
POSTSCRIPT: In September, Public Works Commissioner Jay Card Jr. announced the goody pile wouldn’t be a pile of junk and said people dropping items for recycling to their neighbors would have to see an attendant who could determine if the items are, indeed, reusable.

Ms. Lewis to retire from board

Before she was a Town Board member, Chris Lewis was president of the Shelter Island Board of Education. But 30 years ago, she opted to give up that role after 11 years of service with an announcement in October 1983, that her resignation would take effect in January 1984. Her plan at the time was to return to hospital work. The registered nurse told the board that after a long absence from her medical career, she needed time to focus on developing her professional skills.
POSTSCRIPT: Ms. Lewis is seeking re-elecion in November to the Town Board to which she was first elected 11 years ago.

Town’s ‘64 budget down despite salary increases

That’s a headline taxpayers would like to see today as the Town Board wrestles with the 2014 budget. In October 1963, the Town Board approved a $147,093 budget, down from $157,353. And that was despite raises that in some cases amounted to as much as 50 percent. Of course, salaries were much lower in those days as the town historian went from $150 a year to $300. But what enabled the budget to go down were surpluses in the existing year’s budget along with the establishment of a Department of Public Works that would take responsibility for handling many services that had in the past been going to private contractors. Budgeted at $16,000, it was expected the new department would do jobs for less than what it had cost to the town to pay for outside contractors.
POSTSCRIPT: The Town Board is currently meeting with department chiefs and working through requests for funding for the 2014 fiscal year.