Last week’s Town Board reorganization meeting held real promise for Shelter Island residents, NOT in Supervisor Gerry Siller’s words so much as his actions.
The Democratic supervisor, returning to office after almost 20 years away from town government, made two significant Republican appointments — Councilwoman Amber Brach-Williams as his deputy supervisor and Bob DeStefano Jr. as town attorney.
Both held those posts under former supervisor Gary Gerth. It was rumored before the meeting that Mr. DeStefano would stay as town attorney, but only close associates of the supervisor likely knew Ms. Brach-Williams would remain in her post.
Both earned re-appointment.
Ms. Brach-Williams not only was a right hand to Mr. Gerth, but served two former supervisors when it came to budgets. Mr. Gerth and his predecessor, Jim Dougherty, clearly acknowledged the talents the councilwoman brings to her job and two successive Town Boards leaned heavily on her expertise with numbers.
She has been involved in practically all matters that came before Mr. Gerth, and it would surprise no one if she eventually sought her own term as a supervisor.
Mr. DeStefano was involved in practically all issues that came to the former supervisor’s attention. At the same time, he clearly understood his role of advising Town Board members on how to stay within the law and in structuring and restructuring resolutions that have consistently been clear and concise.
We heartily applaud Mr. Siller’s wisdom for keeping these two appointees in their roles without concern for their party affiliation.
He obviously wants the most qualified people around him and has shown himself to be a man of strength and determination, willing to make decisions without regard to politics.
It’s an excellent beginning and town residents and business owners will be enriched by Mr. Siller’s first significant appointments.