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Shelter Island Reporter Letters to the Editor, June 2, 2022

When you give

To the Editor:

On Thursday, May 26, we attended a dinner at Gardiner’s Bay Country Club to honor us as the Lions Club Citizens of the Year. It was a memorable evening in every way with beautiful surroundings, great food, terrific speakers, our dear family and many, many wonderful Shelter Island friends.

We must admit it was very humbling for us to accept this honor and all the laudatory sentiments, since so many on this island do so very much for our community. 

We are incredibly grateful for all the work that was done and all the special people who attended and made this a night we shall never forget. We deeply love this island and the people who live here. 

Volunteering is our reason for getting up in the morning and our joy in living because, as all you volunteers know, you always get much more than you give whenever you help another person.


No to affordables

To the Editor:

Many residents just now returning to the Island for the summer should take notice that a small group of year-round residents have been pressing the Town Board to use taxpayer dollars to buy land to build affordable housing units, many of which could be allocated to either them, their friends, or others whom they think “deserve” it.

In a survey last year, residents indicated that keeping our water supply clean and safe is our highest priority and showed little support for affordable housing. The reason is simple: housing that is “affordable” might only be achieved by building high-density complexes, like apartment buildings. More housing will only further stress our delicate aquifer and threaten our drinking water.

Yet, the Town Board, influenced by this small, but very vocal group is determined to buy vacant lots wherever they can find them on the Island and build, build, build.

To fund all this growth, the Town Board has called for a new tax to be voted on by Town residents by referendum in November. One Town Board member called this tax revenue would be placed in a “piggy bank.”

I do not understand the view of those who think it’s their “right” to live on Shelter Island and expect taxpayer support to do so. What is the problem with commuting from Greenport, Southold, Mattituck, etc.? Year-round residents commute to their off-Island jobs; what is issue with commuting from off-Island to their jobs here?

Of course, first responders, firefighters, and other essential workers may need some assistance living on the Island. But we need to define these categories and their populations and the amount of assistance that might be required. Some owners of businesses that operate primarily in the summer, e.g., hotels and restaurants, already provide some form of accommodation for their workers, but don’t expect taxpayers to foot the bill for this.

It appears the Board members strategically decided to delay the referendum on the issue — they could have called a special election — until November when the summer residents have all gone home. So, residents, please be aware that there will be a referendum to create this “piggy bank” in November.

If you want to protect Shelter Island from unnatural, government-supported growth, please stay informed and be sure to vote this November.


Hall of Fame

To the Editor:

I want to take this opportunity to thank Chuck Hoffman for his letter to the editor last week.

As the Selection/Induction Committee has stated, the record keeping for the interscholastic athletic program here at the Shelter Island School was almost non-existent. Our current Director of Athletics Todd Gulluscio and some of the former and current coaches have reversed course and are documenting important individual and team records.

The committee requires that nomination forms are completed and submitted prior to the selection process. Every nomination form is considered by the committee and if that individual and/or team is not selected, the nomination form remains on file for future considerations. It is important to note that the committee needs to verify all of the awards that players and teams receive. The honor of being inducted for either individual or team achievements is reserved for extraordinary accomplishments. 

All-County honors and/or major team championships serve as the yardstick for the committee. Other factors that also enter into the equation are things such as school records in track and field, becoming a 1,000-point scorer in basketball, as well as other individual honors in specific sports. The committee also considers multi-sport athletes who have participated in several sports and considered to be outstanding, perhaps All-League honors in several sports.

It’s my hope that Mr. Hoffman and others will research and fill out nomination forms for those that he mentioned in last week’s letter. There’s no doubt that our committee would be grateful to Chuck and any other person who would help us identify those deserving student athletes who have contributed greatly to our athletic program. This includes graduates and teams from the past 90 years that might qualify and be selected for future Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies. The committee especially appreciates help and assistance in identifying those individuals and teams prior to 1980 that were considered outstanding.  

The committee wants to thank all of those who attended our latest Induction Ceremony; it was a night to remember. 

JIM COLLIGAN, Councilman, Town of Shelter Island

Price of gas

To the Editor:

For the past several months, gas prices nationwide have been at unsustainable highs. As of May 9, the average price of a gallon of gas in New York State is $4.50 a gallon. New York State’s government tried to address this issue earlier this year by passing a law cutting 16 cents off the 33 cent per gallon existing gas tax temporarily from June 1 to the end of the year. This, although a step in the right direction, is a short-sighted, half-measure approach to an issue that is continually straining the wallets of Long Island families.

First of all, this legislation was passed after weeks of New Yorkers paying over $5 a gallon at the pump, and fails to address the inflated cost paid by Long Island families during the period before the cut. This was just the latest and most blatant consequence of inaction in Albany. Another issue is the arbitrary timeline put forward by New York State, with no way of knowing if these out of control prices will go down by the start of 2023. We will likely require new legislation to extend the tax cut if we remain on this course. It took months for lawmakers to get this done while New Yorkers paid higher prices for gas every day, and we will likely run into this issue again in just a few short months.

Suffolk County’s bipartisan plan to halt the County gas tax on prices over $3 a gallon was a smarter long-term strategy, and should be implemented Statewide when it comes to New York’s gas tax. It wouldn’t require new legislation every time gas prices skyrocket and would give Suffolk County families immediate relief without having to wait on politicians to get their act together and pass a gas tax cut. Removing the 33 cent per gallon tax entirely after the $3 a gallon mark on top of local County relief could potentially save hundreds of dollars a year for Suffolk County households, who need the money in their pockets now more than ever as we see inflation and cost of living soar at an alarming rate.


Peter Ganley is the Republican- and Conservative-endorsed Candidate for Assembly District 1.