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Resident to Sylvester Manor: Turn down the volume

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Five years of noise that barrels from Sylvester Manor across Gardiner’s Creek into Eleanor Oakley’s house is, she said, enough.

Ms. Oakley told the Town Board at its July 2 work session that although she’s been patient and has met with Sylvester Manor staff members and called police on a number of occasions, her patience has run out.

Despite her efforts, and promises from Sylvester Manor officials, she’s still being disturbed by loud music.

With some 300 people in attendance at the Manor’s June 29 “Farm to Table” dinner, she said she was promised the music would be at a reasonable volume and if it was disturbing to her, she was given a number to call and a staffer would attend to the problem. When she called the number, Ms. Oakley told the board, she was assured the volume would be lowered, but nothing changed.

Ms. Oakley said she likes Sylvester Manor and has been a volunteer there, but doesn’t see the organization as a charity that should get special status when it comes to noise.

“I don’t know that they feel they have to answer to anybody,” Ms. Oakley said.

Supervisor Gary Gerth told her there has to be “some give and take” and that the Manor’s role in helping preserve farming on the Island is important.

“There is no give and take,” Ms. Oakley responded. “If people who live here have to pay the price, it’s not worth it.”

Part of the problem is that the town’s noise ordinance doesn’t apply for special events, Police Chief Jim Read said. But he promised to make suggestions to the Town Board that could lower amplified music and cut it off earlier at special events.

In other business: The Town Board will consider raising spending for the now formally recognized Information Technology Committee (ITC) to pay consultant Tom Green for more hours.

Councilwoman Amber Brach-Williams, who is the board’s liaison to the committee, said the ITC wants $15,800 to maintain what has been an eight-hour-a-week schedule for Mr. Green, when the original budget called for four hours a week.

Chief Read, who chairs the ITC, said after the investment in technology, it’s vital to correctly manage systems and continue to grow new systems, including cyber security.

There’s also guidance needed to provide improved public accessibility of records and actions without opening all of the new system to the public, since it contains some information that should rightfully be kept private. That includes communication among staff members about negotiations for land purchases, personnel matters and private financial information that taxpayers provide.