Tisbury voters approve connector road ballot question

— Photo by Joe Tierney

Tisbury went to the polls Tuesday to elect town officers in an election with no contests that coincided with the special state primary election. A total of 648 voters, or about 20.6 percent of the town’s 3,149 registered voters, cast votes.

The ballot included one Proposition 2.5 question that asked voters to fund construction of a connector road between State and Edgartown-Vineyard Haven roads. Although a corresponding warrant article failed to achieve approval by a two-thirds majority at town meeting on April 10, voters approved the ballot question 312 to 236.

Town clerk Marion Mudge said that since the ballot question did pass, a special town meeting could be called by the selectmen or requested by petition to reconsider the issue. Municipal finance director Tim McLean said that if a two-thirds majority approved it at town meeting, the debt exclusion approved on the ballot question would still be valid, according to bond counsel he consulted with yesterday.

The only uncertainty in the town election was whether there would be enough write-in candidates to fill six empty slots on the 11-member finance and advisory committee (FinCom), in addition to Benjamin B. Waldrop (408 votes) and incumbent Bruce Lewellyn (455), both elected to three-year seats, both of whose names appeared on the ballot.

As it turned out there were several write-in candidates. Hillary Conklin (13) votes and Tom Keller (9) won three-year seats. Marilyn Wortman (5), along with Ms. Conklin (3), had the most votes for two-year seats.

Town clerk Marion Mudge said if Ms. Conklin decides to accept the elected position, she would have her choice of terms. If she chooses the three-year term, the selectmen would fill the remaining opening by appointment, with the approval of the FinCom.

One question is whether Ms. Wortman, who already serves as a Vineyard Haven Public Library trustee, may also serve on the FinCom. Ms. Mudge said a town bylaw states that FinCom members may not serve on another town board or committee that deals directly with the expenditure of town funds. Ms. Mudge said the town would rely on an opinion from the State Ethics Commission and town counsel.

The following officers were elected unopposed: selectman, Tristan Israel (522); assessor, Angela A. Cywinski (489); board of health, Michael Loberg (507); Tisbury school committee, Colleen McAndrews (485); water commissioner, Elmer H. Silva, Jr. (503); planning board, Henry Stephenson (473); three library trustees, Ian Aitchison (423), Karen Ann Casper (453), and James H. K. Norton (463); public works commissioner, Denys Wortman (524).