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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor

REPORTER FILE PHOTO A Shelter Island Police officer responded to a story about police salaries.
A Shelter Island Police officer responded to a story about police salaries.

Apples to apples?
To the Editor:
Your front page article (“Island cops paid higher than state average,” December 17) had some serious flaws in its comparison methodology.

By using department “averages,” you systematically skewed Shelter Island’s numbers substantially higher by combining three higher supervisors’ salaries with six lower officers’ salaries and comparing this to, in some cases, 100 lower officers’ salaries combined with only a few higher supervisors’ salaries (if any). Furthermore, you included a separate stipend, unrelated to police pay in your “average,” thereby adding an additional $20,000.

Here are some facts:
Shelter Island police officers’ base pay is the lowest of all the East End towns. All the East End town police departments have substantially better sick payout at retirement than the Shelter Island Police Department. All the East End towns have “on call” pay for planned, after-shift availability coverage, which the Town of Shelter Island currently enjoys at no additional cost. All the East End towns have some type of dental and optical plan for their members. Shelter Island does not offer a plan.

All the East End towns have better retirement options for their officers than are offered to the Shelter Island police. After 30 years of service, the retirement pensions of other East End police departments will outpace that of the Shelter Island officers by at least $20,000 per year!

Whether you agree or disagree with the current remuneration a police officer receives, you should present the facts in a non-biased format in your discussions.

Let’s compare apples to apples.
Shelter Island
The writer is a Shelter Island Police Department officer.

Getting played?
To the Editor:
I am writing in response to your editorial last week (“Agreeing to disagree,” December 17).

First, thank you for your support of my work related to Common Core and aircraft noise.

Since day one, I have worked across party lines on important issues. Aside from introducing bipartisan bills, I have also been recognized as the top freshman Republican likely to co-sponsor legislation with members of the opposite party. I have also broken from party lines on critical votes to protect working class residents of Long Island.

The editorial stated that I am against negotiations with the Iranians. What I am against is getting played at the negotiating table like a five-string quartet.

We are capitulating to a regime that hasn’t even signed the agreement yet.

This deal is worse than no deal at all. The leverage that brought the Iranians to the table was the sanctions relief. Negotiating away our leverage while leaving so much out of the agreement is a historic strategic mistake. Iran is the largest state sponsor of terrorism, actively working to overthrow foreign governments, pledging to wipe Israel off the map and chanting “Death to America.” So much wasn’t even part of the negotiations, including Iran’s continued efforts to develop ICBMs, blow up mock U.S. warships and unjustly imprison American citizens, including a U.S. Marine, a pastor and a journalist. Furthermore, Congress still has not even received the entire agreement, specifically the critical components of the verification agreement.

What we do know, among other concerning elements, is that Americans are not on the inspection teams, Iran collects its own soil samples and inspects its own nuclear sites. This is a fatally flawed deal.

Also in this editorial, it suggests I favor allowing suspected terrorists to purchase firearms. This could not be further from the truth, which is why I introduced the Protect America Act of 2015. This proposal helps prevent terrorists from purchasing firearms while protecting the due process rights of innocent, law-abiding Americans. Additionally, my bill calls for the attorney general to review and verify the terrorist lists to remove the names of individuals who should not have been placed on the lists in the first place, including toddlers, U.S. service members, U.S. Marshals, members of Congress, individuals with similar names and others who have absolutely zero connection whatsoever to terrorism.

Thank you again for your interest in important local, state and national issues.
U.S. representative, 1st Congressional District

In the loop
To the Editor:
My compliments to Ambrose Clancy and the Shelter Island Reporter staff for an excellent edition on Thursday, December 17. In a week when many people may have been away, there were several very important stories of which all Shelter Islanders should be aware. The first page had two of them.

First, that Mary Dudley, a relative newcomer to Shelter Island, was appointed to replace Ed Brown on the Town Council. I look forward to learning more about her other than that she is from a rural community upstate and has a good feel for a rural community like Shelter Island, that she is an aspiring fabric artist, that she is a Democrat who switches the Town Council majority to that party, and that she is a volunteer for important community organizations.

Second, that our police force earns more on average than all the other East End police departments with an average salary for our 10-officer force of $131,362, with a high salary of $186,294 not including benefits. Riverhead police, by comparison, had an average salary of $119,326.

Inside were several other very important stories. One was that the State Legislature extended the 2-percent real estate tax for land preservation until 2050, but they included a provision that 20 percent of this land preservation money could be used for water quality protection if local areas agree to this in a referendum.

Another story was that residents of Shelter Island will not be getting the $172-plus state rebates because the town exceeded the tax cap (the only Long Island community to do so other than Oyster Bay). Another story was about ELIH merging with Stony Brook Hospital next year.

Finally, an editorial focused on how our congressman, Lee Zeldin, is and is not in tune with other Long Island members of the House of Representatives in his voting. And for a touch of humor, there was the story of the same driver being ticketed twice in 17 minutes on Bridge Street.

There is so much more that I urge everyone to read this and all Reporter issues carefully weekly, and I thank Mr. Clancy and the Reporter for keeping us all in the loop.
Shelter Island

Goal met
To the Editor:
The Board of Trustees of the Shelter Island Historical Society is pleased to announce that through the generous support of more than 100 Shelter Islanders, our capital building campaign match has been exceeded.
We wish to thank all donors who have made this possible with their contributions, both large and small.

We are now awaiting Shelter Island Town and Suffolk County Department of Health Services approvals to begin construction.

Throughout the construction phase donations will continue to be accepted gratefully. All who contribute to the capital campaign will be recognized on a “wall of donors,” which will be a permanent installation in the new education and research center.

Again, thank you to all who are supporting the study and preservation of our Island’s unique history.
Campaign Chair,
Shelter Island Historical Society

Saving lives
To the Editor:
In response to recent accidents, New York State has made it a law that all commercial buildings must have working carbon monoxide monitors as well as smoke detectors.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas caused by incomplete combustion and can build up when heating units, gas appliances and motors are not properly vented.

The Shelter Island Fire Department encourages all residents and businesses to have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

The life you save may be your own.
Shelter Island Fire Department