The phrase “brings institutional knowledge to the job” is used loosely these days, often merely to describe someone who has been in one position a long time.
But it just barley begins to describe Councilman Peter Reich’s tenure on the Town Board for the last 12 years.
One example of what he has meant to the residents of Shelter Island is another phrase heard around Town Hall whenever questions came up about our surrounding waters: “Ask Peter.”
A tireless worker in every aspect of town government, it was his expertise in everything connected to our most beautiful and precious natural resource that will be missed most.
But water questions weren’t the only automatic “ask Peter” response that people used: Anything technological, from computers to audiovisual usage, Mr. Reich was the go-to source. His hard work and patience has kept the town up to date moving into the digital age.
In announcing his retirement plans in June, Mr. Reich said a frightening health diagnosis — that he has recovered from — was a wake up call. He wanted, he said, to focus on “only working one full-time job … spending more time with family and friends, near and afar, and” (no surprise) “getting out on the water more.”
Mr. Reich also said he was acting on his belief in term limits for elected officials. “I need to practice what I preach,” Mr. Reich said. “Twelve years is a good long run, but it is time for new blood.”
His exit from public office is as graceful as his service to the town has been over the years.