To the Editor:
The front page of last week’s Vineyard Gazette reports “No Big Change” in Tisbury for the two years since it has granted beer and wine licenses. Lifelong West Tisbury resident John Alley is quoted in the same article, regarding the possibility of alcohol licenses in West Tisbury, “It will be a radical change.” I agree.
It isn’t the short-term effect of having a cheerful beer with your dinner, rather it is about the sneaky foot-in-the-door law that looks innocuous, but causes change for the worse over time, e.g. the likelihood of serving alcohol in other venues, smaller number of seating or no seating requirements, bars, and, of course, liquor stores. We are vulnerable to these changes, especially since the main promoters of passing this law are the financially motivated restaurant owners themselves. What else will our town be asked to do to accommodate future restaurant owners?
Is there any real benefit for the townspeople of West Tisbury, except the proposed $350 yearly license fee?
On Tuesday, April 10, at West Tisbury Town Meeting, Article 41 is at the very end of the warrant. A yes vote allows the one-day licenses for fundraisers to continue. It also allows you to continue BYOB as before, and separates the issue of one-day license requirements from the restaurant alcohol licenses.
On Thursday, at the ballot a no vote to Question 2 ends the restaurant license issue for now.
Laura Clancy Murphy