Chilmark selectmen agree on acting tri-town chief


Chilmark selectmen appointed an acting chief to the Tri-Town Ambulance squad, endorsed changes to the job description for the town harbormaster, and heard an update on contract negotiations between Island officials and cable television giant Comcast.

Selectmen, at their regular meeting Tuesday, agreed to appoint veteran EMT Paul “Zeke” Wilkins as acting chief of the Tri-Town ambulance squad while the ambulance committee continues their search for a permanent chief. The appointment is expected to last no more than 60 days, selectmen said.

Aquinnah police chief Rhandi Belain, also a member of the Tri-Town ambulance committee, said the squad needs someone to lead the operation while the search for a permanent chief continues.

“We need someone now, for day-to-day operations. Someone needs to be in charge, the squad needs to know they can go to someone,” Chief Belain said.

“It’s tough to steer a ship without a rudder,” added Mr. Wilkins. “I don’t plan on changing anything. I think that’s up to the permanent chief, but we certainly want to move forward and keep the bills paid, and keep the squad happy.”

Following lengthy discussion, selectmen also agreed to change the job description for the town harbormaster — among other things eliminating a requirement that the harbormaster hold a captain’s license for at least a 25-ton vessel and settling on language that requires familiarity with small and large commercial and recreational vessels.

Selectmen said that knowledge of local waters and the town was just as important as an ability to captain a large craft. The recommended change will now go back to the personnel board for further review.

Julian Turner, executive director of Martha’s Vineyard Television (MVTV), outlined plans to improve the community access channel and provided details about ongoing negotiations with Comcast.

Correction: February 18, 2011

This news brief was corrected from the print version. Although selectmen discussed a specific 25-ton license requirement they did not include that requirement in their final recommendation to the personnel board.