This week in North Fork history: ZBA approves Mattituck McDonald’s

Former Southold ZBA commissioner Gerard Goehringer in the Dec. 19, 1991 issue of The Suffolk Times.

The following stories were excerpted from Suffolk Times issues published 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years ago this week:

20 years ago …

ZBA slams McWindow

McDonald’s won one and lost one Dec. 16, 1991, we reported in that week’s issue of The Suffolk Times.

The Southold Zoning Board of Appeals voted, 3-2, to approve construction of the proposed fast-food chain in Mattituck. But the ZBA unanimously denied McDonald’s application for a special exception to install a drive-through window at what would becom Southold Town’s first and only fast-food restaurant.

The board’s decision — which effectively bloceds the future construction of all drive-through restaurants in Southold — came more than a month before expected.

Gerard Goehringer, James Dinizio and Serge Doyen cast the three votes of approval.

Postscript: Southold Town has since changed the code so no free-standing “formula food” restaurant can be built anywhere in town.

New housing starts plummet in 1991

America may be coming out of a recession, but there was little new construction in Southold Town this year to give any indication of real fiscal recovery, we wrote 20 years ago this week.

Housing starts topped out at 134 in 1988 and continued a downward plunged to 105 in 1990 and 63 in 1991, we wrote. Only four new businesses opened in Southold Town that year.

25 years ago …

Islanders chilled by Russian roulette death

News teams and rumors have crawled around Shelter Island in roughly even number since 20-year-old Crlos Alberto Borroso-Rojas allegedly shot himself in the right temple while playing Russian roulette in a small house on Dec. 11, 1986, we reported in the following week’s issue of The Suffolk Times.

“He was a young kid who was playing around with a gun,” said then-Shelter Island Police Chief George Ferrer. “He played and played until this fatal evening when he played and lost.”

30 years ago …

Clem Thompson retiring as Southold school clerk

When Clement Thompson was hired as Southold school district clerk in 1956, the principal at the time, the late Henry Williams, told him the district was growing and it would be a good job some day, we reported in the Dec. 17, 1981 issue of The Suffolk Times.

“And so it turned out to be,” said Mr. Thompson, who retired on Jan. 1, 1982 after 25 years on the job.

Mr. Thompson was born and raised in Southold and graduated from the high school. In 1956, at the age of 38, he took on the job, while continuing to work as the manager at Albertson’s Market. His wife Margaret helped him do all the work he needed to do in his school district job in what we referred to as a “mom and pop” operation.

Mr. Thompson said the school budget in 1956 was $243,840 and was $3.7 million upon his retirement.

Postscript: The current Southold budget is just over $26 million. Mr. Thompson died in 2004, after more than 20 years of retirement.

15 years ago …

UN’s new chief has Greenport ties

Kofi Annan a 58-year-old diplomat from Ghana was appointed the seventh secretary general of the United Nations in December 1996, the same year he sold his part-time summer residence on Bay Avenue in Greenport.

Mr. Annan was even late for the closing on the property because there was an uprising in Libya, the couple who bought the home told The Suffolk Times for a story published in the Dec. 19, 1996 issue.

Postscript: Mr. Annan served as secretary general until 2006. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001, after co-founding the Global AIDS and Health Fund.

10 years ago …

Supervisor-elect Horton calls for sweeping resignations

Over 100 town employees and volunteers will find a little something in their mailboxes from supervisor-elect Josh Horton, we reported in the Dec. 20, 2001 issue of The Suffolk Times, but it’s not a card wishing them happy holidays. It’s a request for their resignation.

“My message during the campaign was change,” Mr. Horton said. “I intend to hold good on my promise, and to take a close look at town government and reform it.”

The letter was sent to the town comptroller, town attorney, assistant town attorney and all members of appointed town boards, we wrote.

Applause and a park for Cochran

Many familiar faces turned out for Supervisor Jean Cochran and and Councilman Brian Murphy’s final meeting at Southold Town Hall Dec. 18, 2001, we wrote that week.

A standing ovation followed adoption of a special declaration renaming Peconic Lane Park “Jean W. Cochran Park.”

Ms. Cochran served three two-year terms as supervisor.

“I have been honored to serve as your supervisor,” she told the crowd.

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