Tisbury takes beer and wine step by step
The proposal to allow restaurants to serve beer and wine surfaced three years ago. Tisbury town leaders took a step-by-step approach to the question. The following history of the question is based on stories that appeared in The Times over the course of the last three years.
Sept. 15, 2005
Tisbury considers beer and wine sales
The Tisbury selectmen’s agenda included consideration of alcohol sales in Vineyard Haven restaurants.
Stephen Perlman, president of the Tisbury Business Association, said his organization supported a proposal for the limited sale of beer and wine by Vineyard Haven restaurant owners and asked that the selectmen appoint a committee to study the potential impact of alcohol sales on the town.
"I don’t have any problem with beer and wine being served with a meal," said Tom Pachico, selectman, although he said he would not want to see someone ordering "eighteen beers with a basket of chicken wings."
Calling it a "hot-button issue" and a "potential flashpoint in this town," Ray LaPorte, chairman of the board, cautioned that alcohol sales should be examined for "benefit versus detriment balance."
The selectmen told Mr. Perlman they wanted to see the specifics of what the TBA is proposing. "I think I could support this if is does not change the character of the community and raise law enforcement issues," Mr. Israel said.
March 2, 2006
Thirsty Tisbury wants to know - to drink or not is the question
As a first step in evaluating the possible effects of beer and wine sales in Vineyard Haven restaurants, Tisbury’s appointed beer and wine review committee announced it would survey 600 registered Tisbury businesses.
A cover letter accompanying the survey explained that the committee’s purpose was to evaluate all costs, benefits, and effects on the character of the town that might result from the sale of beer and wine in local restaurants.
April 20, 2006
Survey is next step for beer/wine committee
Tisbury’s beer and wine review committee announced plans to mail a one-page survey to taxpayers, possibly with town tax bills that go out on July 1.
October 5, 2006
Little effect if Tisbury gets wet
After eight months of meetings, interviews, surveys, research, and discussion, Tisbury’s beer and wine review committee concluded that there would be little or no impact on the town, its taxpayers or the overall business community, if beer and wine were served in Vineyard Haven restaurants and inns. The committee recommended that the Tisbury selectmen consider a Home Rule Petition to the state legislature.
Dec. 21, 2006
Tisbury selectmen seek draft of beer, wine article
The Tisbury selectmen agreed to move toward putting the issue of beer and wine sales in Vineyard Haven to voters.
Jan. 11, 2007
Tisbury selectmen set beer and wine discussion
The Tisbury selectmen reviewed a draft article that would allow the town to grant licenses for the sale of beer and wine in Vineyard Haven restaurants and inns. Selectmen said the draft could be amended depending on public input.
Feb. 8, 2007
Tisbury voters debate beer and wine sales
Tisbury selectmen Tuesday held a public forum to discuss a proposal to allow beer and wine licensing for restaurants. Town counsel David Doneski explained the legislative process by which Tisbury would be authorized by the state to issue beer and wine licenses.
April 19, 2007
For Tisbury voters, the third night turns out to be the charm
At 10 pm on the third night of the annual town meeting, the beer and wine article finally bubbled up. Despite the fact no one would be voting on the actual issue of allowing beer and wine discussion lasted for an hour and forty minutes.
"The quality of life is the issue here," said Nat Benjamin, co-owner of Gannon and Benjamin Marine Railway.
"We have an unlicensed, unregulated, untrained wet town. This is not going to change the character of the town," said John Jones, Tisbury beer and wine review committee member.
Voters agreed 120 to 77 in favor of allowing the beer and wine question to appear on the town ballot next year.
Oct. 18, 2007
Tisbury hearing considers beer and wine regulations
About 25 people, including several Vineyard Haven restaurant owners, attended a public hearing held by the Tisbury selectmen to consider possible beer and wine licensing regulations. The selectmen used the town of Rockport’s alcohol licensing policies, rules and regulations as a starting point for crafting Tisbury’s.
Feb. 14, 2008
Tisbury beer and wine bill moves to governor’s desk
Tisbury’s Home Rule petition for legislative permission to issue beer and wine licenses was enacted by the state senate and sent to Gov. Deval Patrick.
Feb. 21, 2008
Beer, wine forum uncorks emotional debate
At a public forum Tisbury residents expressed their views about the possible end of the town’s dry status during an emotion-laden public forum. The selectmen provided qualified answers when asked where each one stands on the issue.
"If push came to shove today, I’m modestly in favor," said selectman Tristan Israel.
Selectman Denys Wortman announced he plans to vote yes on the beer and wine question.
Selectman chairman Tom Pachico described himself as "sitting on the fence," and said he had not made up his mind yet.
Feb. 28, 2008
Tisbury beer and wine licensing regulations set
The Tisbury selectmen voted to approve amended beer and wine licensing policies, rules, and regulations following an hour-long work session and public hearing.
Both seasonal and year-round licenses will cost $1,500 annually. There will be no limit on the number of licenses, since they will be granted at the discretion of the selectmen.
The selectmen increased the size of televisions allowed in licensed establishments from 15 inches to 36 inches, although selectman Denys Wortman objected.