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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor

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Starting over
To the Editor:
I am frustrated with the contradictions. Sometimes we are bragging about how Shelter Islanders have a sense of community, we look out for each other, we are proud of our autonomy, proud of our tourism industry, innovative with entrepreneurship to sustain that tourism economy, but then in the next breath, we are reminded about how to be a “good neighbor.” That our neighbors are to be feared, reported, and are abusers of the Island.

Friends, our neighbors are you. We are them. They are us. Maybe your neighbor is unknown to you because you are pre-judging them too soon.

Second, I am simply sad about it all and drained from the divisiveness it’s causing. No one has dared ask the Town Board what their values were in creating this. And to say it aloud — “This law was based on our inherent belief in …”

Do we hate the tourists or do we hope they come? Do we praise the Islander still employed, or do we quietly not care whether their children stay or leave? We boast we are the un-Hamptons, yet we want to replicate their manner of handling rentals? I appreciate the concept of wanting to add a “hardship” exemption, but it’s not logical.

Struggling residents have to decide if they want to disclose their “poverty” by turning in their income tax return, to then not have to get the license and get their six rentals or not turn in their income tax return, do the license and still get the same six rentals.

It’s the same. I think this law was troubled from the beginning because we have no long-term plan for where we want Shelter Island to go. We don’t know what we commonly want together. “We” meaning everyone, second homeowners, young, mature, Islanders who live here year-round.

Decide, write it down, and then start over from that unified mission. There is no shame in starting over. In fact, it would be the honorable thing to do.
JULIA ROMANCHUK
Shelter Island
Editor’s note: Ms. Romanchuk is a candidate for the Town Board, running on the Republican ticket.

Doubling down
To the Editor:
Please, members of the Town Board, out of common sense and respect for the folks who rely on rentals to make a living, repeal the short-term rental law (STR).

It was ill-conceived and has been divisive to our island. The architect of this law and the Town Board members who support it need to reflect on their own souls. The move towards criminalization is absolutely astounding.

It is divisive, destructive and counterproductive.

You are all beginning to act like the folks running our country. Shame on you all.
I am not a renter, and never will be a renter, but I support repeal because I have seen the fallout from this law.

It was obviously promulgated by someone who has absolutely no regard for our island’s history, our struggling middle class residents and the importance of listening to your constituents. Rather than compromise, the board doubled down to destroy the STR supporters.
JOHN M. COSGROVE
Shelter Island

One idea, one thought
To the Editor:
Back in the late 2000s, the Shelter Island High School National Honor Society ((NHS)was brainstorming ways to raise funds for their newly created “Relay for Life” team with the American Cancer Society.

One member suggested a simple collection following each of the spring play performances. Our wonderful director John Kaasik was very receptive to the idea.

I am now so pleased to announce that this year our fantastic audiences collectively donated $1,383. I am also pleased to share that the originator of the idea, NHS member Mia DiOrio, who was the impetus for bringing in over $10,000 for this worthy cause over the years, is now a colleague of mine.

I can think of no better example of the idea that one idea, one thought, one contribution, can have amazing results. I can think of no better example.

Our NHS team will participate in the North Brookhaven Relay for Life on June 1.

Thank you so much to those in attendance who gave so generously.
JANINE MAHONEY
Shelter Island School

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