Featured Story

Transparency of Island public officials remains an issue: Mooring rights back on agenda

Charges that the Town Board has not been transparent on issues, which has dogged members for several years, has re-surfaced. Residents Kim Bonstrom and Pam Demarest raised questions at a Nov. 9 Town Hall meeting about what they see as non-responsiveness from the Town Board on how decisions are made.

Ms. Demarest said she attends meetings regularly and writes letters raising questions about various actions, but doesn’t get responses to whether her views are being considered.

She pointed to two pending issues — the Ram’s Head Inn dock application and a wetlands permit sought by Suzanne Townsen for property development at 27 Dickerson Drive.

Town Attorney Stephen Kiely said the Town Board is awaiting a report pertaining to an environmental study of the application for the dock application and expects it will be forthcoming by the end of this week.

If it’s a written report, it will be posted to the Town website in advance of a work session discussion. But if it’s not provided, the Town Board could still discuss the application at an upcoming work session.

As for the Dickerson Drive application, Ms. Demarest said her letters pertained to questions about what she saw as discrepancies between information sent to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and said the approval granted by the Town Board at the meeting failed to address a house that is larger than what was expected.

“You approved everything they wanted,” she said. “I’m very concerned about what’s happening at Town Hall,” she said. “I never get answers. I’m very insulted.”

Mr. Bonstrom said questions are addressed to the members of the Town Board but he’s “flummoxed” that Mr. Kiely, who is not a member of the Town Board, responds.

He asked Deputy Supervisor Amber Brach-Williams to explain her thinking about the Dickerson Drive application. Ms. Brach-Williams confirmed she had read Ms. Demarest’s letter and considered it in making her decision about voting in favor of the wetlands permit. But she said her notes were at home and she couldn’t recreate her thinking at that moment.

“I’m not satisfied,” Mr. Bonstrom said.


A public hearing on transferring 46 moorings from Jack’s Marine, which was owned by Mike and Camille Anglin, to CXR LLC, controlled by Stefan Soloviev, was adjourned on the advice of attorney Timothy Hill, who is handling the case on behalf of the Town Board. He said more information is needed.

The Waterways Management Advisory Council endorsed the transfers with Mr. Anglin recusing himself and Chairman John Needham abstaining from voting because his Coecles Harbor Marina is in the same business.

Two residents raised issues about the plans, though not specifically directed at these proposed transfers. Bayman Bert Waife said grandfathering of commercial moorings has made it practically impossible for others wanting a commercial mooring to get one. Kim Bonstrom said the Town Board should re-examine who is a town resident entitled to a mooring and whether an LLC can hide identities of people seeking moorings.

In the case of CXR, attorney Martin Finnegan has stated that Mr. Soloviev is the principal.

Mr. Bonstrom said the Town Board is “flaunting the Town Code” and needs to recognize that moorings are not a business asset but a Town asset. Supervisor Gerry Siller said there are many issues about moorings and the Town Board intends to look at them and make some changes.