Featured Story
04/24/17 8:00am


On Friday, after nearly 18 months of debate,  the Town Board voted to regulate short-term rentals (STRs) on Shelter Island.

In an expected four to one vote, with Supervisor Jim Dougherty casting the lone “no vote,” the Island joins the other East End towns in putting restrictions on STRs. (more…)

Featured Story
08/22/14 2:00pm
REPORTER FILE PHOTO Yesterday’s Town Board gadfly today sits on the other side of the table. In 1994, he made waves when he resigned from the ZBA, charging it was acting politically.

Yesterday’s Town Board gadfly today sits on the other side of the table. In 1994, he made waves when he resigned from the ZBA, charging it was acting politically.


The Beatles arrived in San Francisco for their second U.S. trip playing to 14,300 fans in Washington State and vowing to stay together until death do them part (more…)

04/06/12 10:17am

The Town Board and the Shelter Island PBA on Thursday agreed to a three-year contract that grants 2-percent pay raises in 2012, 2013 and 2014 plus annual 1-percent longevity pay hikes for police who qualify.

News of the agreement came at Thursday’s meeting of the Town Board — which was held as day early because of the Good Friday and Passover holidays — when the Town Board voted 4-1, with Councilman Paul Shepherd opposed, to ratify a stipulation of agreement that the two sides had signed shortly before the meeting and to authorize the supervisor to execute the contract.

Mr. Shepherd voted “no,” he explained, to protest the Town Board’s requirement that new, non-union employees pay 25 percent of their health insurance premiums while the town’s police officers are not required to pay any part of their health insurance costs. Other union employees are required to pay a smaller percentages, depending on the date they were hired.

The councilman, who has made an issue of the employee payments for health care since his first weeks on the board in January, thanked the PBA “for not engaging in a cynical bargaining strategy that made it easy for the board” and the union to reach an agreement. He said the agreement was “reasonable” but “not necessarily fair.” He said that union employees “with access to binding arbitration” had an advantage over those who didn’t.

He charged the Town Board with having failed to show leadership on the issue. He later explained in an interview that he felt the other board members, three of whom are veterans who were elected before the current payment policy was adopted by the Town Board, should voluntarily pay a 25-percent share of their coverage. The exception is Supervisor Jim Dougherty, who joined the board in 2008, when 15-percent was the required employee share for health coverage.

Mr. Shepherd himself, as a new town employee, is required to pay 25 percent of his premiums, if he chooses to take the coverage. He said he would be making a decision in the next few days whether or not to do that. If he does not, he will qualify for a payment in lieu of coverage.

Except for Mr. Shepherd’s comments, there was no discussion of the new contract agreement.

Supervisor Dougherty, who negotiated the deal for the town, announced its terms in an email he sent soon after Thursday’s meeting.

“I’m happy to announce the Town and PBA have signed a stipulation of agreement today agreeing to terms for a three year contract expiring December 31, 2014,” he wrote. “The agreement will call for a 2-percent annual compensation increase (down from the 3-percent annual increase awarded for the three years 2009 through 2011 by the arbitrator in the 2011 compulsory arbitration). The only other compensation or benefit increase is a 1-percent increase in longevity payments for those policemen qualifying. We are fortunate with the dedication and service we receive from our policemen and I and my Town Board colleagues feel we have recognized this fairly in the current economic climate.”

The supervisor said in an interview that the town had attempted to make health-care contributions for the PBA a negotiating point during the binding arbitration process on the last contract. The arbitrary rejected the idea, he said. According to the supervisor, the PBA rejected it as well during the latest contract talks.

10/06/11 10:31pm

Town Board candidate Paul Shepherd’s bid for a second line on the ballot in November as the candidate of his own Local Liberty Party succeeded last week when the Suffolk County Board of Elections rejected a challenge to his nominating petition filed by the town Democratic Committee.

In a September 28 letter, the board told Mr. Shepherd that the Democratic objections to his petition “have been determined by the Board of Elections to be insufficient” and his petition “has been declared valid.”

Heather Reylek, chair of the town Democratic Committee, said by phone last week that the committee would not challenge the ruling.  As a result, Mr. Shepherd’s name will appear in two places on the ballot — the Conservative Party line and his own Local Liberty Party line.

The Democrats objected to his nominating petition on technical grounds, saying election law barred Mr. Shepherd from witnessing the signatures on a second petition in the same race. They noted he already had witnessed signatures on the petition he submitted in support of his nomination as the candidate of the county Conservative Party.

Board of Elections Deputy Commissioner William Ellis last week said in an interview that court rulings have upheld the right of a candidate to circulate and witness a second petition in a single race as long as the second petition is for the candidate himself and not another candidate. Commenting on the decision, Ms. Reylek said, “We did what we needed to do. The Republican commissioner wouldn’t sign off on” on the Democratic objections. “I don’t want to say anything else. I’m not a lawyer.”

The Board of Elections has two commissioners, Democrat Anita S. Katz and Republican Wayne T. Rogers and their staffs.