Summer residents criticize Oak Bluffs beach conditions


Oak Bluffs selectmen held their annual meeting with summer residents Tuesday. They heard a litany of gripes, mostly about Inkwell Beach, the popular stretch of beach off Sea View Avenue.

Beach erosion has washed away much of the sand, leaving small sharp pebbles.

Town administrator Michael Dutton explained that sand from the planned dredging of Sengekontacket Pond will be used to replenish the beach, but that project has been delayed by permitting and cost issues.

“I came to this meeting very, very hopeful,” summer resident Micki Jennings said. “A lot of people feel like we pay taxes, but we’re not represented. I haven’t heard any answers, any solutions, any ways Oak Bluffs is willing to help our summer people. All the answers I’ve heard have been very vague. It’s hard for me to believe in the case of the rocks on the beach, there is no solution. The summer people would like to feel that we are being considered and cared for a little more than we are. Help us more with this beach.”

The absence of lifeguards on the beach also drew complaints. Oak bluffs voters rejected a Proposition 2.5 override question that would have funded lifeguards for two consecutive years.

“I don’t understand why lifeguards are put on a separate issue,” said Mildred Henderson. “As selectmen in this town, it should be part of your budget.”

Following the sometimes sharp comments, summer residents joined selectmen for a cordial social evening at the Sailing Camp Mainstay building.