Shandaken Police Chief steps down after 34 years

James McGrath

James McGrath

The Shandaken town board, at its June 2 meeting, accepted the resignation of Police Chief James McGrath after 34 years of service as a police officer. Councilman Tim Malloy, presiding over the meeting in place of supervisor Rob Stanley, read a letter from McGrath announcing his intention to retire as of July 18 and stating, “It’s time for me to move on.” Malloy said Stanley hopes to schedule a meeting of the town board and the police commission later this month in order to nominate a successor to McGrath.

At the same meeting, Shandaken council member Faye Storms reported that numerous complaints have been received regarding loud late-night music. She is researching ways of revising the town ordinances designed to protect residents against the nuisance of excessive noise late at night and in early morning.

Police officer George Neher told the board that the current law prohibits noise of specified decibel levels after certain hours, with the criteria varying for different zones. He said that the town does not own a device for measuring decibels, although there is one in the possession of Full Moon Lodge in Oliverea.


The regulation is difficult to enforce, said Storms, observing that if there’s a complaint, “You have to go into the house and measure the decibel level. By time you get there with the equipment, they turn it down, and then they turn it up when you leave. There are laws on the books across the country. I’m on board to do something about it. If anyone is interested in talking to me, email me or call the town clerk’s office.”

She also noted that the problem may be increasing because younger people are moving into the area, but that “after ten o’clock, we should have reasonable quiet.”


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Marti Gailes of the Parks and Recreation Committee said the recent accidental death of the supervisor’s mother, Sandy Stanley, has left two significant vacancies. Sandy, a nurse at Margaretville Hospital, volunteered her time as medical officer for the town’s summer recreation program, and the committee is scrambling to find a replacement. The board voted unanimously to advertise for a new manager for Shandaken’s Glenbrook Park, another position Sandy had filled.