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Shelter Island Reporter editorials, Oct. 28, 2022

Recognition and honor

To make a community vibrant, relevant and strong requires many things, but few qualities are as important as recognizing and honoring the people who continue to serve their neighbors.

This past week we’ve seen that in action, with the Town Board hosting a ceremony on the lawn of the Community Center that named the Town Clerk’s office at Town Hall for Dorothy Ogar.

Councilman Jim Colligan presenting the plaque to Town Clerk Dorothy Ogar. (Credit: Ambrose Clancy)

Ms. Ogar has been in that office since 1961, when she was assistant Town Clerk to her mother, Helen Dickerson Smith, and then was elected to succeed her in 1978.

Her tenure with the Town just about matches Jackie Capon’s service with the Shelter Island Fire Department. Mr. Capon celebrated 65 years as a volunteer and was honored this week at the department’s Annual Installation Dinner at Gardiner’s Bay Country Club.

Firefighter Jackie Capon, left, was honored for his decades of service to the Shelter Island Fire Department at its Annual Installation Dinner on Oct. 22 at Gardiner’s Bay Country Club. Chief Anthony Reiter presented him with his commendation. (Credit: Mary Ellen McGayhey)

Praise for Ms. Ogar’s strong character, calm demeanor, courteous and professional manner, hard work and dedication came from several sources at the ceremony. This newspaper deals with Ms. Ogar for Town information all the time, and our staff can attest to her qualities as a person and official. It’s a fitting tribute that her name will adorn the office she serves so diligently.

Mr. Capon volunteered as a member of the Shelter Island Fire Department in 1957 and has remained an important part of the team that is always on call to save lives and keep residents safe (see story, page 6). As several fellow volunteers, including Chief Anthony Reiter, noted at the Annual Installation Dinner, Mr. Capon still answers almost every emergency call. One of the newest members of the department, 23-year-old Wesley Congdon said, “He beats me to every single fire, every single call. He’s always there.”

Always there. We congratulate Ms. Ogar and Mr. Capon for living those two words, which describe what they have done, and are doing, to make life better for their neighbors.

Size does matter

Ready for some numbers? How about a 12,150-square-foot main house and a 3,820-square-foot accessory structure, on 8.8 acres of property. Ready for more? Eleven bathrooms, a gym, four added bedrooms, and three master bedroom suites.

The Town Board heard the plan for this place recently. Maria Maggenti, a member of two Town Housing committees, said she felt like crying as she listened to the presentation supporting the project. We know how she feels, but tears are not needed, as Ms. Maggenti acknowledged, but a sober look at the absurdity of a proposal like this getting a green light.

Another number — 36. That’s the number of houses on the Island that exceed the Town Code’s limit of 6,000-square feet of living space. When is too big really too big? And when is enough, enough?