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Candidates set to debate in school auditorium Sunday

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO Town Supervisor Jim Dougherty, left, and candidate Art Williams, will debate the issues Sunday at the Shelter Island School auditorium.
BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO Town Supervisor Jim Dougherty, right, and candidate Art Williams, will debate the issues Sunday at the Shelter Island School auditorium.

Themes already developing in the race for Shelter Island supervisor will be aired out in full as the League of Women Voters of Shelter Island and the Shelter Island Association host a candidate forum this Sunday, October 25.

Democrat incumbent Supervisor Jim Dougherty will debate Republican challenger and former supervisor Art Williams in the Shelter Island School’s auditorium scheduled for 1 to 3 p.m. League President Lois B. Morris said the event could stretch another hour, depending on the number of questions from the audience.

The three candidates running for two open seats on the Town Board will also be on the stage — incumbent Republican Councilman Paul Shepherd and challengers Democrat Jim Colligan and Republican Emory Breiner.

Candidates running unopposed — B.J. Ianfolla and Quinn Karpeh for Town Assessors and Annemarie Seddio for Receiver of Taxes will be present as well, Ms. Morris said, to make short statements at the beginning of the proceedings. Highway Superintendent Jay Card Jr., also running unopposed, has a prior commitment, Ms. Morris said, and will be unable to attend.

Both Mr. Williams and Mr. Dougherty agreed the major issues of the campaign are town finances, how to safeguard the Island’s ground and surface waters and the best methods to reduce ticks and the diseases they carry. Mr. Dougherty, speaking to the Reporter this week, said he was also looking forward to discussing the issues of excessive aircraft noise over the Island and land preservation.

Mr. Williams said he was eager to demonstrate differences between his positions and those of Mr. Dougherty and how “our skill sets diverge” when it comes to finances.

“Taxes are everyone’s concern,” Mr. Williams added. “It’s not political and not partisan. I believe the town’s financial stability has to be reined back in. I don’t think this Town Board dives deep enough in the budget.”

Mr. Dougherty said he was looking forward to “a frank exchange of views.” He’s proud to run on his record of, as he said at a previous candidates’ meeting this month, keeping residents’ real estate taxes low “which are the lowest on Long Island by quite a margin,” but also “delivering on our obligations” to the town.

League Treasurer Kathleen Minder will moderate the forum. Written questions will be taken from the audience.