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Shelter Island swearing-in a fitting affair

Shelter Island -- Supervisor James Dougherty Supervisor James

Shelter Island -- Supervisor James Dougherty

Supervisor James Dougherty expects to have a lot of behind-the-scenes work to do next year, much of it unfinished business from this year.

Each of the town’s three collective bargaining units will have an expired contract — the Highway Department contract expired Dec. 31, 2010, the other two contracts at the end of this year — and Dougherty said rising long-term health care expenses might require future employees to pay more for that care than current workers, if that can be negotiated.

“With respect to future employees,” he said, “they will have to pay more.”

Dougherty also will work with the town’s planning board and zoning board of appeals on implementing the town’s new zoning code on the Ram Island Causeway; a series of complex changes severely limit where new homes can be built on the environmentally fragile piece of land.

(June 27, 2011) Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant

There were enough chairs for half the crowd of 100. The rest stood against the walls or in the hall of Shelter Island Town Hall. One man joked that, after all, what else was there to do on Shelter Island on a weekday in January.

The occasion: The swearing-in Tuesday of newly elected town officials.

Resident Dave Draper, who hadn’t planned to come until a friend spotted him in the library across the street and invited him, was philosophical. “I voted for them. I know these people,” he said of the new office-holders. “If nothing else, this is a form of courtesy.”

The ceremonies were brief. No one made a speech, and Supervisor James Dougherty, above, merely pointed out to the crowd that there were brownies (courtesy of Town Clerk Dorothy Ogar), a pot of coffee and some cookies on a table in the back of the room.

“Let’s party,” he said.



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