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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the editor


In memory of one, in honor of another
To the Editor:
The League of Women Voters of Shelter Island has announced the inauguration of an annual scholarship award that simultaneously honors the memory of one of its own and the accomplishments of a graduating senior.

The very first recipient of the Mimi Brennan Memorial Scholarship Award for Civic Engagement will be called to the stage at the Saturday, June 23 graduation ceremonies. Though the League will not reveal the name in advance, this member of the class of 2018 has been selected for community service that reflects the selfless giving spirit demonstrated by Mimi Brennan.

Mimi, who died in 2015 at age 85, was a founding member of the Shelter Island League chapter in 1995, the Lions Club Citizen of the year in 2005, a volunteer for virtually every other civic organization and a helper to anyone in need.

To present the award, I will introduce Jim Brennan, Mimi’s son and weekend Shelter Islander. Jim served  as a New York State Assemblyman for the 44th District in Brooklyn from 1985 through 2016. He won awards for fighting for mental health parity in insurance coverage and investigating services for the severely disabled and he worked to win funding for housing for the mentally ill, among many distinguished accomplishments.

The scholarship fund will be maintained at the school and funded by the League as well as by anyone who wishes to provide a tax-free donation in Mimi’s memory.
The League of Women Voters of Shelter Island

To the Editor:
In response to Mr. Cosgrove’s letter (“Equal Representation,” June 14), I would like to point out a few problems with his arguments. First, his ad hominem attack on “a councilman who displayed neither humility nor respect for Islanders” was simply wrong.

I attended most of the meetings on short-term rentals (STRs) last year leading up to the law passing by a vote of four to one, and the councilman in question bent over backwards to try to appease the STR faction who want no regulations. He, in fact, considered his point of view, accurately in my view, as conciliatory to that faction.

Second, I would point out that when the Town Board votes, a majority prevails, as in any vote. Both then and now the supervisor, then Jim Dougherty and now Gary Gerth, were the outliers. In fact, Supervisor Gerth said publicly that this was a “moral issue,” implying that those who disagreed with him were immoral.

I would point out that Mr. Dougherty was voted out office, in part at least, because of his inability to get along with the others on the board. I welcome the next vote for supervisor to see how many Shelter Islanders agree with Mr. Gerth’s stand on STRs.

Finally, I would encourage Mr. Cosgrove to read the letters in the same issue of the Reporter by Mr. Bindler and Mr. Ruby who both cogently argue their points of view without stooping to attack those who disagree with their points of view.
Shelter Island

What works
To the Editor:
As a part-time Shelter Island summer resident, let me share my experience regarding renters versus residents. I previously lived in Lakeside, Michigan, one of a number of communities of mixed full-time residents, second homeowners and rental properties on Lake Michigan, communities much like Shelter Island.

There were similar complaints about noisy renters, disturbances, even causing fist fights.
The solution was a “Good Neighbor” ordinance, which stated: No outdoor noise after 10 p.m. This was actively enforced by the police. If they were called and found the complaint justified, the penalties per visit were: first time, a $100 fine to renters and owners; second time, $500 to each; third time, arrest for the renters and $1,000 fine to owners.

You may not recall the national story in 2007, where a wedding party got totally out of hand and the bride ended up in handcuffs, spending her wedding night in jail. Great publicity! A few less publicized episodes of enforcement and the problem was solved.

I suggest this as a trial solution to end the endless rancor about rentals here on the Island. It worked for us.
Shelter Island

Eyes open
To the Editor:
I finally had the opportunity to read the petition that was sent around last year in favor of the STR legislation. If you have not seen this or signed it you can see it on my Facebook page.

“The Big Business Money Machine” is included with it and a review of STR income for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016. Whoever prepared this please show me the numbers for Shelter Island. This is a scare tactic.

Also you will find right off the giddy-up that “short-term rentals have diminished the year-round residential housing available to residents.” This is absolutely not true.

The STR legislation is as bad and stupid as the light ordinance. The real estate sign ordinance is stupid, Get rid of it. It is so discriminatory it is disgusting.

The law states it does not apply to “special occasions” or fundraisers, but is not a wedding, a family reunion, a milestone birthday, a christening, etc, a “special occasion?”

What is quite interesting about this petition, are the signers. Many of them have either rented themselves or have done STRs over the years. The names are there, including the addresses.
A real eye opener, and the comments … wow!

Shelter Island