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Another entry in the race for Shelter Island supervisor: Gaynor launches write-in campaign

And then there were three — candidates for supervisor, that is.

Mike Gaynor, an Island resident since 2018, announced last week he has launched a write-in campaign for town supervisor. So far, his campaign is being conducted with YouTube videos and flyers distributed to potential voters. 

What prompted his campaign, he said, was that since moving to the East End in 1996, he has watched other municipalities — Sagaponack, Montauk and Sag Harbor —  “destroyed because their local elected and appointed officials have behaved exactly the same way ours are now,” and expects no different outcome on the Island. “I can afford to do something about it and so I will,” he said about his decision to enter the race.

In his initial YouTube video, he introduced himself and said the reason for his candidacy is to restore civil rights to many Islanders who have been denied them by elected and appointed officials, municipal employees and private citizens.

“I have grown up around small local elected and appointed officials and I have seen first hand how effective it is when they are hauled off in handcuffs by federal agents for violating people’s civil rights,” Mr. Gaynor said. “It’s a proven, effective tool in deterring illegal behavior on the part of these folks going forward, and that’s why the FBI deploys it all over America.”

He said he plans to see that happen on Shelter Island “because it is well-deserved, considering the vast collection of criminal activities I have witnessed our local elected and appointed officials on this Island commit.”

“I’m cut from the same cloth as most of the people who grew up here and we’re all tired of being under the thumb of the few,” he said “We are the many.”

He said he believes he can be elected with the help “of some of the best people I’ve ever met in my life. With all of that behind me it should be about as hard as falling off of a log to get elected this November.”

Asked to talk about who is backing his young candidacy, he said workers at the Recycling Center, police, ferry workers and employees pumping gas at Piccozzi’s are among those who share his views. 

The number one issue facing the Island is “full-throated impunity on the part of our elected officials,” Mr. Gaynor said. “The clear and present danger of their actions will destroy this place and I am not going to let that happen,” he said.”They think that they can do whatever they want to do to whomever they want to do it to whenever they feel like doing it. They’re about to find out that this is very much not true.”

In his initial video he said, if elected, he will forgo his salary and instead direct the money to a Sag Harbor attorney to investigate alleged abuses visited upon Islanders by elected officials, town staff members, volunteers, or anyone else who may be guilty of denying the rights of residents.

Mr. Gaynor filed a suit against the town to gain access to its Community Preservation Funds related to Sylvester Manor. Town Attorney Stephen Kiely said Mr. Gaynor had appealed a court ruling denying access to the records. But Mr. Kiely said Mr. Gaynor hadn’t followed through with his appeal. Mr. Gaynor confirmed that the suit is dead.

If the recent past is any predictor of the future, Mr. Gaynor will not be invited to participate in any candidates’ forum hosted by the League of Women Voters. That was the case two years ago when former Town Board member Peter Reich launched a write-in campaign for supervisor.

The party candidates for supervisor, whose names will appear on the ballot, are Democrat Gordon Gooding and Republican Amber Brach-Williams.