New police contracts approved in Edgartown

— Photo by Ralph Stewart

Edgartown selectmen approved new three-year contracts for police patrol officers and superior officers at their Monday meeting. The contracts call for the regular schedule of annual step raises, and any cost of living adjustment granted to non-union employees, but does not include a base percentage increase over the current contract.

The two police unions have traditionally agreed to the same increase selectmen give to non-union town employees.

“It’s something that is evidence of a very good working relationship between the town, the police department, and the town employees,” chairman Art Smadbeck said in a phone conversation with The Times.

Also Monday, the board voted unanimously against using Edgartown Housing Trust Fund money to pay for a housing needs assessment. Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC) affordable housing planner Christine Flynn told selectmen the MVC has reduced its original funding request of $4,000 from each town to $2,700.

“If it’s that small an amount, I think they can find it in their budget,” selectman Margaret Serpa said.

“I think it’s an obligation on the part of the commission,” chairman Art Smadbeck said. “It should be something they are doing.”

Selectmen agreed to send a letter of support to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection for a compromise proposal to license filled tidal land on property at 29 and 31 South Water Street owned in part by David Vietor. The conservation commission and selectmen say that reasonable public access, a requirement of the licensing procedure, is not possible at the site. In such cases, the state can allow a monetary payment, to be used for public access improvements waterfront land elsewhere in town.