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Shelter Island Reporter Editorial: Nonprofits, Comprehensive Plan

Now is the time

Now, more than in any time in memory, people are suffering on Shelter Island, and need help. The government, through the Senior Center and Shelter Island Town Social Worker Lucille Buergers, and the school, through teachers’ and staff’s outreach to families in need spearheaded by School Nurse Mary Kanarvogel, are all helping. But more has to be done, and that’s where residents come in.

This holiday season, nonprofits that are lifelines to your neighbors need your help. The Lions Club, long before the pandemic and continuing now, has never flagged in its dedication to helping Islanders, and The Shelter Island Action Alliance, formed in the early days of the pandemic, has helped show a way to lifting us all up.

Here’s a link listing organizations that are asking for your support: https://shelterislandreporter.timesreview.com/2020/12/11/a-year-like-no-other-challenges-island-nonprofits-to-brave-the-storm/

Now is the time for you to act.

On schedule, on point

Often, outside forces postpone positive initiatives and plans, getting them stuck in the mud of the moment. Those efforts sometimes never regain traction to continue essential work for a community.

We see the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic stalling, slowing or leaving in limbo initiatives and ventures that have gone to the end of the queue for more important public health and business projects.

“Back burner,” “shelved,” and “tabled” are words often heard these days by elected officials and, for the most part, they are wise responses to putting the pandemic as the number one item on agendas.

That’s why it’s encouraging to see that the Comprehensive Plan Committee is moving forward on schedule and in an organized and dedicated fashion. Organized is the key word here, with Councilmen Mike Bebon and Albert Dickson steering a multi-tiered effort that will take months to achieve. One of the best decisions they made from the outset was bringing on Islander Edward Hindin as project manager. Mr. Hindin had a long career in municipal planning and is no novice dealing with communities, governments and planners.

Issues the Comprehensive Plan will address are, among others:

•Ground and surface water quality and groundwater quantity

•Deer management and the related control of tick-borne diseases

•Lack of affordable housing for workers, young families and down-sizing seniors

•Loss of young people due to lack of a robust local economy

•Economic development sufficient to support ongoing governmental services.

We salute the committee and its leadership for persevering, keeping focus and working to make the Island a better place.