The Deer & Tick Committee that has, at recent meetings, complained about an inability to get information out to the public about efforts it’s making to curb tick-borne diseases, is taking a recess this summer.
The committee has cancelled its August meeting and doesn’t plan to have a table at the August 22 Green Expo, the popular Island environmental fair.
August is the the time of year the Island is most populated, and also the summer months are the height of the tick season.
Tick-borne diseases have been characterized by many as a public health crisis on Shelter Island.
The committee meeting had been slated for August 5, but was cancelled because Committee Secretary Jennifer Beresky will be on vacation and Police Chief Jim Read also would have been unable to attend.
A poll of members determined that instead of rescheduling for August 13, as had been suggested, it would next meet on September 2.
Just last month, the committee voted against a resolution suggested by member Marc Wein to tape record the meetings and have them transcribed as is the practice for other town committees.
Although the committee won’t be meeting in August, there had been a plan to staff a table at the Green Expo to disseminate information on tick-borne diseases. But various members indicated they couldn’t give time to its staffing.
“We do not plan to have a table at that event,” Committee Chairman Mike Scheibel said in an email Friday afternoon to the Reporter.
The Reporter, in a July 9 editorial, had called on the Town Board to schedule a meeting during the summer, perhaps on a Saturday morning, to reach out to part-time and year-round residents to discuss the situation on the Island.
The aim was to inform the public about efforts undertaken to date, discuss possible new initiatives to reduce the deer herd and tick infestation and get a sense of whether there’s an appetite to implement other means of addressing the problem.
But it seems that will have to wait until September.