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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor

Civil disobedience

To the Editor:

Last year, I obtained a permit from the Shelter Island Police Department (SIPD) allowing me to store my kayak at a town landing until Nov. 31, 2021. I’m now being told that my permit is no longer valid and I’m required to pay additional — and exorbitant — fees to store my boat.

I’m very angry that our elected official, a.k.a. Police Commission, would enact legislation allowing the SIPD to abrogate an agreement made in good faith with a law abiding taxpayer. I am so angry, in fact, that I intend to keep my kayak at the landing despite the threat of the SIPD to confiscate my boat without informing me. I invite other citizens with similar permits to do the same. Perhaps a little civil disobedience will make our elected officials aware of the injustice of their actions.

These ludicrous new rules and regulations are the direct result of electing and re-electing old fogeys who suffer from the delusion that they’re smarter than everybody else and they have been anointed to use their superior wisdom to tell everybody else how to live. Just recently, one of our most brilliant and loud elected officials cost the taxpayers $10,000 because he was unable to control his mouth. That was the cost of an independent investigation that determined he had inappropriately harassed other town employees because of their political views.

The Town Board continues to create complicated regulations to solve problems that don’t exist. These rules are totally unmanageable and unenforceable and create an unnecessary bureaucracy.

Apparently, the Town Board has decided that kayak control is beyond the capability of the SIPD because the new permits are being administered by Ms. Ogar and her staff at Town Hall. Kayakers can be more comfortable because Ms. Ogar will probably be more reasonable and less likely to confiscate their private property for the trivial offense of illegal kayak parking, than the heavily armed kayak control unit of the SIPD.

Meanwhile, not to be deterred, our elected officials are hard at work on a new solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. Water meters. Stay tuned.

Your government at work. Does it get any better?

DAVID OLSEN, Shelter Island

An outrage

To the Editor:

North Ferry has proposed a fare increase that is of a magnitude unheard of in my 35 years as full-time resident and life-time owner of property on Shelter Island.

The 30% increase for residents will create a prison for many of us who live and work here. There must be extreme mis-management at the ferry to need such an increase with the traffic being so heavy now and after receiving Paycheck Protection Program money. I hope County Legislator Bridget Fleming will give a careful look at this request and demand accountability to show hardship. 

The structure of rate for a residents to go off-Island for a few hours with family  of four would be $16.80. That’s if you want to go to the movies or take the kids to Little League games. 

This is an outrage and an investigation is needed. The county runs the Fisher’s Island ferry. Maybe that authority can take over the North Ferry Company.

BERT WAIFE, Shelter Island

An eye on country club’s expansion

To the Editor:

Gardiner’s Bay Country Club (GBCC) seeks to construct for its seasonal workers: a 40-bed staff building and a second structure with four one-bedroom and two two-bedroom apartments, accommodating up to 64 people. Given the AA Residential zoning, the Town Board would have to issue a special permit.

At the ZBA hearing on May 26 at 7:30 p.m., residents should urge that: (1) an independent consultant study any environmental risks involved; and (2) if the expansion is found not to impose undue risks, the Board condition any approvals on GBCC, such as: (a) setting aside some apartments at rates affordable for year-round Island workers, including town employees and EMS and Shelter Island Fire Department volunteers; and (b) following more environmentally friendly practices.

Given the size of the proposed expansion, an independent study of wastewater and drinking water issues is imperative. To ensure independence and no appearance of conflicts of interest, a consultant should be vetted by individuals who have neither already shown a predisposition to support the expansion, nor knowingly get business from GBCC or its members.

If a large GBCC expansion is environmentally reasonable, before changing zoning, the Board should aggressively seek concessions that would benefit the town. These include (1) requiring that some apartments be set aside at affordable rates for some people in the community unaffiliated with GBCC, such as those identified above, and their families; and (2) requiring that GBCC install an I/A septic system at the clubhouse; reduce its use of irrigation, fertilizer and pesticides; and/or more closely monitor the environment impact of its practices. 

The consultant should also evaluate any risks posed by GBCC’s reported plan to seek from the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) an increase in the 6,000,000 gallons of water GBCC is now allowed to use annually for irrigation. The town does not have authority over the DEC, but could presumably condition any approval of a special permit on GBCC limiting its water usage.

STEPHEN JACOBS, Shelter Island

Well deserved

To the Editor:

Congratulations to Taylor Rando on her well-deserved success. Stay safe.

INGA O’REILLY, Shelter Island

Editors Note — The Reporter will not print letters to the editor or advertisements related to the school budget or board candidates in the issue of May 13 because those with opposing views won’t have an opportunity to respond prior to the May 18 vote that takes place at Shelter Island School between noon and 9 p.m.