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Group takes holiday respite on Comp Plan

The Comprehensive Plan Task Force and Advisory Committee are suspending activity until January.

The suggestion came from Supervisor Gerry Siller at the Nov. 29 Town Board work session as he pointed out considerable progress has been made to date. But having observed the most recent meeting last week, the supervisor said he observed the need for a holiday break with plans to pick up in January.

Councilwomen BJ Ianfolla and Meg Larsen, who are Task Force members, agreed. They noted many Advisory Committee members were either unable to participate at the Comp Plan late November meeting or unable to complete work they had hoped to tackle in time for that meeting. Staff members also need time to recharge.

For a group that has been very productive for several months, they also recognized after Thanksgiving that the public, which has been very engaged with the group, is turning attention to the holidays. They, too, need time to recharge and get reengaged after the holidays.

Some of the need to recharge resulted from COVID hitting three members of the Town Board and others in town, the two Task Force members said during a telephone interview last week. Ms. Ianfolla, who was one of the Town Board members who was ill said she has been able to take time needed to recover fully.

Nonetheless, both said they would work a bit through December to incorporate various information into sections of the plan already drafted.

A remaining meeting and a workshop originally scheduled for December have been canceled. The workshop was slated for Dec. 16 with the followup meeting was originally scheduled for Dec. 19.

Meetings and workshops will resume in January.

Both to save money and to assure an updated Comprehensive Plan will reflect the voices of locals, the decision was made months ago to forego hiring a consultant at the outset.

But among discussions at the November Comp Plan meeting, there was talk about zeroing in on ways in which a consultant might be helpful to the process.

The next scheduled meeting of the Comprehensive Plan Task Force and Advisory Committee is set for Jan. 23 at 6:30 p.m. and is a hybrid session available the public for those who want to attend at Town Hall as well as well as to those who prefer to  access the meeting using a Zoom link that is posted on the town website at shelterislandtown.us under the tab for committees .