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To register? Or not to register

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The controversy over the short-term rental (STR) legislation takes many forms, with enforcing the law near the top of the debate.

The STR regulations have been on the books for more than two years, with a requirement that renters register with the town.

So far, according to the town, five have registered, when hundreds of STRs have been advertised.

There have been online and other entreaties for renters not to comply with the registration part of the law as acts of civil disobedience.

The Reporter asked Town Board members and those seeking election to the board: “Will you encourage people who will be renting their properties on a short-term basis to register with the town?”

Supervisor Gary Gerth: Absolutely, people should register. It’s free and the process has been made very simple to comply.

Councilman Paul Shepherd: Last year at this time I openly encouraged all participants to register, because I was fully expectant that if they did not, that there would likely be another, more stringent set of regulations to follow. Well, here we are, sadly.

Councilman Jim Colligan: I absolutely encourage people to register because without registration, there is no ability to enforce the law.

Councilwoman Amber Brach-Williams: I don’t understand the “encourage” part of your question. They will be required to register.

Gerry Siller, Democratic candidate for supervisor: I would certainly encourage people to register their short-term rentals. Short-term rentals are well and good, but need to be regulated for the benefit and protection of all parties, be they landlord, neighbor or renter.

Marcus Kaasik, Republican candidate for Town Council: I’m a Shelter Islander, and with that, there is a clearly stated unwritten law that people are allowed to do with their property as they please. This comes within reason, of course. I am also an American, thus I would encourage people to think with their own minds.

Michael Bebon, Democratic candidate for Town Council: I will encourage people to obey the law.

Julia Romanchuk Weisenberg, Republican candidate for Town Council: I’ll be encouraging everyone to get uncomfortable and talk to each other. Shelter Islanders are good people who can get behind anything when values and goals are straightforward. But make voices inclusive, and that good becomes extraordinary.

Councilman Albert Dickson has not responded.