Tisbury clerk plans to end hunting, fishing license sales


Hunters and fishermen in the habit of purchasing a new license and wildlife stamps from the Tisbury town clerk will need to hone their computer skills in the new year. Tisbury town clerk Marion Mudge said she does not plan to sell 2011 licenses.

Ms. Mudge told The Times the $1.50 the town receives for the sale of each hunting license does not cover the costs of issuing the license. Those costs she said include staff time and computer paper.

Ms. Mudge said her office bears the brunt of new legislation and reporting requirements. “The state has decided to dump all the new ethics legislation on us and all the new open meeting law legislation and nobody pays anybody attention to what some of this stuff is going to cost the towns,” Ms. Mudge said. “I felt it was one way for us to cut down on our workload without really affecting too many people at all.”

In addition, she said the state is moving to a computer-based system and the timing seemed right. She noted that saltwater fishermen, who must now register with the National Saltwater Registry, have had no problem making the transition to a computer-based license. Ms. Mudge said in general the hunters who have come into her office to purchase 2010 licenses and stamps and have been told what to expect have had no objections.

According to the town report, the clerk’s office, which operates on a budget of $165,000, issued a total of 48 fishing licenses, 83 hunting licenses and 28 inclusive sporting licenses to residents and non-residents in 2009.

Asked about taxpayers who prefer to stop into town hall, Ms. Mudge said they would have to stay home and use their own computer or go to the library where computers are available. Or they can go to neighboring towns of Oak Bluffs and West Tisbury where the town clerks said they have no plans to cease selling licenses.