Governor’s last stop before returning to Boston, Martha’s Vineyard

Governor Patrick answered questions from the public about the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) that the Vineyard recently lost. — Photo by Yoojin Cho

Governor Deval Patrick, looking rather casual and relaxed in his khaki pants and green short-sleeve button-up shirt, came to Martha’s Vineyard on Saturday before wrapping up his Summer Conversation Tour.

Speaking at Eliakim’s Way in West Tisbury, Governor Patrick discussed various overarching issues, such as the cost of health care for low-income families, improving education and reducing violence among youth.

He also addressed local issues when the Vineyarders asked about the closure of Social Security Administration (SSA) office on Martha’s Vineyard and the recent loss of the Community Development Block Grants. (See related story here.)

He said, while the government probably cannot resume full Social Security services on the Island, he would look into a possibility of a joint office where the SSA representatives would share a space with existing government administrative offices.

The residents then spent a good chunk of the hour voicing their concerns regarding the loss of the $2 million housing improvement and child care grants. A couple of weeks ago, due to an error in the application process, the Massachusetts Department of Community Housing and Development rejected the Vineyard’s application for a federal grant that have benefited low- and moderate-income families for many years.

In response, the Governor’s office said they would see if the application can be corrected or if there’s any other solution to remedy the situation.

Unfortunately the sudden downpour at around 1 p.m. ended the Governor’s visit, but the Vineyarders still had almost a full hour to ask questions and see what’s on the Governor’s agenda for his second term.

Watch the video for highlights from the visit.