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Shelter Island Reporters Letters to the Editor — Dec. 10-17

Editor’s note: A letter to the editor published Dec. 10 used a crude and inaccurate term to describe Susan Williams’ residence. This should have been eliminated in the editing process, but due to an oversight, was not. The Reporter apologizes to Ms. Williams for any discomfort or distress it has caused her.

Councilman’s point of view

To the Editor:

It has been about two months since the incident at the Recycling Center.

I’ve remained silent and waited for the report from the independent investigator, appointed by the town, to be made available to both the Town Board and the Shelter Island Highway Benevolent Association.

There’s no doubt in my mind that the employees’ vehicles containing large Trump and U.S. flags had the right under the 1st amendment to be displayed. My objection wasn’t directed at the employees’ rights, but rather their inappropriateness for display at the work place of a town facility. The words I chose to use were “inappropriate” and “that I don’t think that they belong here.”

I never ordered anyone to take them down, nor do I have that authority.

My use of the words “B.S.” (which I regrettably did say), was in response to Ron Jernick’s claim that flying those flags was the same as putting a bumper sticker on your car. Obviously, there was a difference of opinion between the two of us. There was no other use of profanity, by either one of us during that 45-second exchange.

Nevertheless, there was absolutely no reason for me to engage anyone at the Recycling Center on that day. I should have waited until the following day and discussed this with our Town Attorney, Mr. Sherman and Supervisor Siller. That was clearly my mistake and I have apologized to Zack Starzee, Wesley Congdon and Mr. Jernick in a letter sent to them last week.

The headline, “Colligan to quit as Highway Dept. liaison” in the Dec. 10 Reporter is not accurate. I did not voluntarily quit my position, rather I accepted the recommendations made by the independent investigator, in order to satisfy the concerns of the union that I could not be fair and just in future collective bargaining agreements.

Finally, I offered an apology immediately following this incident. When the union leadership met with Supervisor Siller, that offer was flatly rejected. Instead, they demanded my resignation. As stated in the report, “Removal from the Town Board would constitute a penalty disproportionate to the offense.” 

My work as the liaison to the Highway Department, and especially at the Town’s Recycling Center, has been personally very satisfying. I know I’ve been supportive of the work environment for all members of the union. That will not change, regardless of being relieved as the liaison for the Highway Department.

JIM COLLIGAN, Councilman, Town of Shelter Island


To the Editor:

It saddens me to see such a letter printed in the Reporter last week. Such vitriol and hate.

I would rather have a messy yard any day than a filthy mind and such vindictive behavior.

Jim Colligan and Gerry Siller can be proud of themselves for supporting such people as Ms. Minder and Mr. Gessner (along with the Munsons and Hoffmans). And putting myself and the town through such horror.

Ms. Minder and Mr. Gessner forgot to mention that I once had a reproduction of Michelangelo’s David on display in my front yard.

Prayers for peace.

SUSAN WILLIAMS, Shelter Island


To the Editor

Does your editorial policy allow for alleged hearsay referring to someone’s home as an “S&M house” to be put in print?

I can’t imagine. Freedom of speech? Susan Williams is a single mom who raised her child in that house. It is an outrage and you owe her a public apology.

JOHN EBANKS, Shelter Island

Zeldin tries to revoke my vote

To the Editor:

Over 100 Republican members of Congress signed a friend of the court brief to join Texas’ attempt to overturn the November vote that determined Joe Biden won the election for president.

Our congressman, Lee Zeldin, was one of those signers. He, in effect, is trying to undo the election and void the votes we cast and the results that we determined in this election.

This shows his contempt for his district and his fealty to Trump. He should, in my mind, be recalled from his office. 

I and many others would happily sign such a recall petition.

BOB FREDERICKS, Shelter Island

Christmas 2020

To the Editor:

I actually called Time magazine about the cover that has set the internet on fire with comments. That cover was on Nov. 23, 2020, and this week’s will be 2020 with a big red X, according to the customer service representative I spoke to. So there. No further comments on that cover. I only subscribe to The New Yorker and Martha Stewart; that’s all I can handle in my fragile state of mind.

Now that our Island is aglow with Christmas lights, go see them. Quite extraordinary! It seems someone mentioned no Christmas this year? Big mistake. Almost, ”Wanna bet?” in our house as we are flipping around through the magic of cyberspace with our ornaments for our trees with a big “Remember this one?”

I’m going to try to do the Christmas thing wishing Jesus a Happy Birthday, correctly. According to our “stay safe” instructions, it seems Dec. 25 will last a few days.

Underneath the great facade of this wonderful season, on Shelter Island, there seems to be a hornet’s nest. Too, too bad. Let’s try to resolve a few things graciously, if possible. Some of those hornets are not user-friendly. Read the letters from last week and think about who wrote them and the content.

Summing it all up actually is Codger’s column. Ah, me!

Be well, stay safe, and mask up.



To the Editor:

Thank you for your article regarding PSEG and LIPA, seen online.

My perspective has been that PSEG has improved our customer service, storm handling, communications, and responsiveness more than I have seen by any other provider.

I have no affiliation with them so I am offering this opinion because of my experience with them and, also, I have heard similar perspective from other friends located across Long Island.

I would love to see a perspective if LIPA is properly managing our contracts overall. It seems to me when you look at Long Island’s history of Shoreham, electrical rates, taxes, and other considerations, that there is another side to this story worth exposing.

DAVID DENARA, Shelter Island