West Tisbury selectmen weigh sidewalk and warrant articles

— Photo by Nelson Sigelman

The regularly scheduled meeting of the West Tisbury selectmen on Wednesday, Sept. 14, began very irregularly – 15 minutes earlier than the 4:30 pm start time and on the driveway in front of town hall.

Selectmen met outside to discuss the location options for a new brick sidewalk in front of town hall, which will be financed with funds remaining from the building renovation budget. After a 10-minute review, the selectmen agreed to build the sidewalk four feet off the existing State Road pavement.

Back in the more comfortable surroundings of the town hall meeting room, selectmen reviewed, amended, and unanimously approved several articles to be included on the warrant for a special town meeting scheduled to begin at 7 pm, Nov. 15, in the West Tisbury School gymnasium.

The articles include a request to amend the bylaws to include language that would ban dogs from the Lambert’s Cove Beach during the summer, provide funds for the operation of a boat to be used by the shellfish constable, approve acceptance of the Mill Pond Dam from the Garden Club, and change town bylaws to permit the police department to create a lieutenant’s job classification and change the wording respecting how officers are paid when “on call.” The warrant will close on October 7.

The selectmen also asked Jennifer Rand, town administrator, to speak with elected federal officials about the town’s unhappiness that Social Security Administration officials no longer make reguarly scheduled Island visits to answer questions from seniors. A letter sent to government officials when the service was discontinued got no response.

“It is disturbing. A lot of people, older people, rely on that access even just once a month,” selectman Richard Knabel said. “They shouldn’t have to go off-Island.”

“We deserve an answer. It is ludicrous that they cannot send someone up here once a month for whatever reason. It is terrible,” selectman chairman Jeffrey “Skipper” Manter agreed.

The selectmen accepted, with regrets, the October 1 resignation of Jim Powell as a member of the planning board and the affordable housing committee, and ending his service as town fence viewer. Mr. Powell said that he is moving off-Island.