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Absence, recusals delay five Shelter Island Town Board actions

You might call it the fifth seat curse that has delayed action by the Town Board this week by two Town Board members.

With Councilman Albert Dickson on vacation and two of the other three members having to recuse themselves on separate issues, five resolutions had to be struck from Monday night’s agenda for lack of a quorum.

There were nine pending applications for businesses seeking to operate on town-owned land this summer, but three had to be held over until next Tuesday’s work session when all four Town Board members are expected to be present.

Supervisor Amber Brach-Williams said three ice cream businesses — the Tuck Shop, Mister Softee and Kpops — couldn’t be acted on because one of the three is a recent client of her former accounting business.

There were two resolutions pertaining to recommendations from the Water Quality Improvement Advisory Board on which Deputy Supervisor Meg Larsen had to recuse herself because of her involvement with her family’s business, Shelter Island Sand, Gravel & Contracting.

Public hearings

The three members were able to set public hearings on a number of proposed legislations, all slated for May 6. They include:

• Proposed legislation to transfer decisions on wetlands applications back to the Town Board from the Planning Board.

• An extension of the moratorium on processing and acting on applications for dock permits to enable the Waterways Management Advisory Council time to continue its review of the Town Code dealing with docks.

• Establishment of a new Town Code chapter on fertilizer use.

• A proposed so-called “pyramid law” seeking to establish height limitations to keep construction from towering over existing buildings.

• Changes affecting vehicle and traffic revisions.

The agenda from the April 15 Town Board meeting outlines each of the proposals and can be expected to appear again on the agenda for the May 6 meeting as posted on the town website.

Fresh Pond remediation

The Town Board declared that an effort to provide a temporary remediation of Fresh Pond needs only a short environmental form. A more permanent solution is delayed pending action by the State Department of Environmental Conservation to issue a permit that could clear the way to gaining grant funding.


Board members approved the appointment of Schuyler Needham to the Waterways Management Advisory Council, long chaired by his uncle, John Needham.

Other appointments included Laurel Hardy as a provisional assessment aide for the assessors office and Michelle Congdon as a part-time Justice Court clerk.