To the Editor:
When you’re off-Island for an extended period and receive a phone call from a trusted contractor/friend that your “chimneys are leaking…right down inside the walls,” you figure your peace of mind is going to pretty much disappear for a while.
I didn’t worry anywhere near as much about the money involved and the logistics of handling this job while being a thousand miles away as I did about how I was going to negotiate the red tape of town hall, building inspectors, historical commission, etc., to get the clearances necessary to have the job done in a timely manner.
My home is in West Tisbury, and I’m pleased to report that red tape has been replaced in my town by helpful, understanding, and caring town officials — neighbors who went out of their way to ease my mind, and do more than I ever imagined they would do to help me complete these urgent repairs.
My thanks particularly to Jen Rand, Ernie Mendenhall, Nancy Dole, and the folks on the historic district commission, to my neighbors for being accepting of the changes that had to be made to the property, to Robin Robinson and Hollis Smith for spotting the problem and organizing the effort, and to Jason Baird for being on-the-spot and getting the repair work done.
I always chuckle when people ask me, “What’s so special about Martha’s Vineyard?”