Ferguson Letter to The Lost Apostrophe, FishersIsland.net Editor

by Jane Ahrens

From: Harry Ferguson <harryferg3@comcast.net>
Cc: info@fishersisland.net
Date: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 5:24 PM
To: <thelostapostrophe@gmail.com>
Subject: The Yale Study

I found Monday’s meeting frustrating because the questions were almost entirely focused on whether incorporation as a village is necessary to achieve the goals of the recommendations which are described in the report.  I share some of the concerns raised about the incorporation concept.  I’m also in complete agreement that the challenges facing our Island must be addressed and addressed with a sense of urgency because the Island is at a tipping point.

The Study, which John Spofford should be congratulated for getting going with help from FIDCO and others, was not developed in secret by a few folks.  The acknowledgements on page 5 of the report lists over 60 people.  There have been several meetings over the last two years and the study was posted on the Island website several months ago.  It takes some time to read and digest but the time is well spent as the report articulates well the challenges which we face and poses recommendations.  We all need to read it.

What is needed now is leadership from the Island Community Board and others to develop support for the recommendations–which I am in general agreement with–and to begin the implementation process of those recommendations with such modifications as may be thoughtfully suggested by those who care about the Island.  The suggestions made at Monday’s meeting that we should try working with Southold rather than immediately moving toward incorporation are an example of such thoughtful input.  However, the Study does point out the advantages of incorporation in achieving some of the goals.  That’s just one of the issues that must be discussed.  All the recommendations are important and we need to develop consensus on what needs to be done.

When I went to school on the Island there were 100 kids in the school.  Now a family with four kids increases the Island population’s share of the school by more than 10%.  I find that very scary.  We need the year-round population to have a critical mass and to have a proper age distribution.  There is much to be done and everyone who cares about the Island must get involved.

Harry Ferguson

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USCG Eagle passing the Race early morning March 18, 2023 on her return from the Chesapeake Bay . Photo Credit Marlin Bloethe

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