Featured Story

Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor


Well underway
To the Editor:
In your January 29 online post titled, “South Ferry boat under construction — fare hike contemplated,” Stella Lagudis was quoted as stating: “North Ferry has been contemplating adding a new boat to its fleet, but its plans are still not solidified …” The article was subsequently changed to read, “North Ferry is planning to add a new boat to its fleet, but officials there aren’t yet ready to talk about details…”

As Stella discussed with the Reporter on September 26, 2018, North Ferry’s plans for a new vessel are very solidified. North Ferry contracted with Washburn and Doughty of East Boothbay, Maine, to deliver a new M Class vessel. Construction is well underway.

This vessel will join three other similarly-sized and configured vessels and will include upgrades, including U.S. Coast Guard mandated Tier 3 engines that are more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly. The new vessel, which has yet to be named, is 130-feet long and can carry up to 25 passenger vehicles. We anticipate the new boat will be in service this summer.

What has yet to be solidified is North Ferry’s application for rate relief. Rate relief is granted by the Suffolk County legislature based on a demonstrated need. North Ferry’s 2018 financials will be audited shortly, and management will determine next steps based upon an analysis of its financial position.
General Manager, North Ferry

To the Editor:
For 40 years I have driven past the lot on Cobbetts Lane with the stately pine trees. I have often dreamed of winning the lottery and buying that lot to live in a cottage under those tall pines. It always seemed an enchanted place and one of my favorite spots on the island.

A recent buyer has chopped down all the pine trees, leaving not one left. I am all for a property owner’s right to do whatever is legally allowed with their property. But why buy that lot and remove all those beautiful, irreplaceable trees? That’s what made it so special. I just don’t understand. But then again, I live in a state where it is now okay to kill a baby right before it is born. Something I will never understand, and a greater reason to be heartbroken.
Shelter Island

To the Editor:
While we are all painfully aware that every land owner has a right to do what they want with their property, we think that a little consideration to your fellow Islanders and your neighbors should be considered before one desecrates the neighborhood.

Two cases in point are one on Cobbetts Lane which had 36 magnificent large pine trees removed and one on Peconic Avenue, which is being totally clear-cut for a future house.
Shelter Island

On a mission
To the Editor:
The column by Charity Robey, “Town on a Mission?” (January 31) could not have been written any better and addresses so correctly the leadership and responsibilities that go with it.

Ms. Robey’s writing connected all of the dots. With a vision, the will to move forward and relentless positive energy, the community can accomplish the pressing issues of the Shelter Island community with the result being protecting and saving our quality of life.

Thank you to the Shelter Island Reporter and Ms. Robey.
Shelter Island

Thanks, Jeff
To the Editor:
Last week’s Reporter briefly summarized the town’s independent auditor Jeff Davoli’s report to the Town Board on his firm’s audit of the 2017 town financial statements — my 10th and final year in charge of finances. Mr. Davoli stated that in 2017, “The town is being operated under fiscally responsible means,” with low debt and a good bond rating (and low taxes, too, by the way).

It was a pleasure to work with Mr. Davoli and his colleagues. I can happily share that my financial management of the town during those 10 years was significantly enhanced by Jeff and his team’s always collegial, but very independent, and strong opinions and advice on how to properly operate the town financially and properly report to the taxpayers and public. Thanks, Jeff, to you and your teammmates.

These annual audit reports are customarily made in the August-October time frame, when the prior year’s audit is completed and the audience of Shelter Island taxpayers is at or near its peak. (From Supervisor Tuthill down through Evans Griffing and all, the word has always been: “If you want to bury something, do it on a Tuesday in January.”)

Oh well, at least we finally got a report on the town’s 2017 financial health. But let’s be vigilant with the 2018 report, the first under our new Town Board, and make sure it is made in the August-October time frame when we have a large audience of Shelter Island taxpayers and residents here.

As a Shelter Island taxpayer, I again thank Jeff and his team for their very independent and hard work on behalf of our town and its taxpayers.
JIM Dougherty
Former supervisor, Shelter Island

Reporter review
To the Editor:
Some observations of the past few editions: I can’t get the smile off my face after the priceless front-page headline, “Councilman to Mission Control” (January 17). And, to take the phrase “to provide a quality of life for all residents” out of context, it seems the Islanders I know have a very nice “quality of life” and are happy with their “life style.”

For some reason, both seem to be constantly interrupted by outrageous government regulations, as opposed to issues, since there are some issues that must be addressed for public safety and well being.

The short-term rental (STR) legislation has been a thorn in my side. I can understand unruly party people, but let the police handle them. Insulting Islanders is a clause in this law that says if you are involved in a fundraising/special event affair for housing, you will be exempt. My goodness. A family reunion, a wedding, a baptism, a milestone birthday is not a special event? This is a total insult! This has to be amended for all people, not just a certain few.

This Memorandum of Understanding, (MOU) drafted way back when has me giggling. I guess it’s self explanatory as an understanding between The Nature Conservancy and the town concerning Taylor’s Island. Apparently there was some thought to abandoning this, but we have a smart town attorney, who suggested to wait a until we find out exactly what is going on.

I hope everyone reading this letter takes time to check this out and thank the Taylor’s Island Committee, which has worked so hard to preserve this wonderful gift to the town. P.A.T. Hunt needs to be the Lions Club recipient of Citizen of the Year. Taylor’s Island is another of Shelter Island’s gems that is beyond a treasure.

Private property under control of The Nature Conservancy? No running in Mashomack? Am I imagining things? Yes, I know in this litigious society, someone might trip over a turtle or a root and sue them. But really!

Finally, I read Charity Robey’s column (“Town on a mission,” January 31) and all I can say is: Charity, bless your heart.
Shelter Island