Short term rentals
To the Editor:
The short-term rental regulation question before the Shelter Island Town Board is complex and clearly illustrates a divide in our community.
The Shelter Island Chamber of Commerce conducted a survey among its membership revealing that not all of our members view the matter unanimously. However, the broad mission of the Chamber is to advance economic, industrial, civic, professional, cultural and general interests of the town. Recognizing the breadth of our objective, we are also a nonpartisan organization, and will not partake in influencing political outcomes.
Nevertheless, we must recognize, by current and historical reference, that private rental activity on Shelter Island has been a long-standing tradition. Denial of this reality in its current form of evolution being debated today would potentially have a very negative impact on the institutions and people in this community who work here, send children to our school, volunteer and perform countless other services vital to our day-to-day functioning.
Therefore, we ask the Town Board to be open-minded and thorough in their examination of this issue as they continue their deliberations. We believe that conclusions regarding this matter should consider all elements of any regulatory impact.
ARTHUR R. WILLIAMS
President, Shelter Island Chamber of Commerce
After the election
To the Editor:
We are visiting friends out of state and just read the Reporter on line. We saw with shock and disappointment Peter Waldner’s cartoon of the American flag.
How divisive and unpatriotic a statement. How insulting to people who exercised their right to choose their president.
Shame on the artist and shame on the Reporter for approving it after the election.
I guess those Americans who voted for Mr. Trump are considered deplorable. How sad, and how sad for our young people who saw that cartoon.
KATHRYN A. CUNNINGHAM
Who is responsible?
To the Editor:
As a taxpayer, I was disappointed to hear that somehow, funding allocated to paving and roadwork ended up in another account and therefore not available for its intended use.
I think we are owed a clear and quick explanation and resolution of this situation. Were these funds used to offset other expenses that the town did not want to include in a normal budget to avoid making difficult choices and/or to avoid higher taxes? Were these funds mismanaged? Who is responsible for the integrity of our town’s finances?
At a minimum, taxpayers may find they may have to replenish the funds to ensure roads are paved or we may find ourselves having to ante up if the funding sources decide to claw back funds that have not been used as designated.
Two thoughts expressed at the town meeting according to the recent Reporter also trouble me and should trouble all taxpayers.
One was the suggested that a “clever” Jim Dougherty used the allocation of funds as a way of precluding paving operations this year. He has indicated that he thought that the road were fine and did not want to spend the money! The second is the reluctance of the Town Board to force reallocation of the funds because the board wanted to preserve equanimity or good feelings.
I do not know if either of these viewpoints are accurate. But I would like to urge the Town Board to live up to its fiduciary responsibilities and to do it quickly even if someone’s feelings get hurt!
I believe we pay financial advisors and auditors to make certain that municipal finances are being properly managed. I think we are also owed reassurance that our town leadership is playing by the rules.