West Tisbury selectmen adopt rules for use of town stationery


West Tisbury selectmen Wednesday agreed to adopt a policy in effect in Edgartown that limits the use of town stationery to official correspondence.

At the October 9 meeting of the selectmen, Cynthia Mitchell asked that the use of town stationary be placed on the October 23 meeting agenda. Ms. Mitchell had learned that chairman Richard Knabel had asked town administrator Jennifer Rand for stationery on which to send two letters to the Cape Light Compact (CLC) and to the Cape & Vineyard Electric Cooperative (CVEC) expressing concern over the long-term viability of CVEC. Ms. Rand refused the chairman’s request.

Mr. Knabel later sent two letters on his own stationery and signed the letters “chairman, board of selectman.”

Ms. Rand told The Times in a conversation after the October 9 meeting that because the board had not met or discussed the letters, she refused the chairman’s request. In the past, letters have not gone out on letterhead, signed by a board member, without previous discussion by the board.

“This matter arises partially out of my own ignorance,” Mr. Knabel said on October 23. He said he did not know there was a tradition of limiting letterhead use to issues that had been approved by the board. “I have no problem making a policy so that its clear.”

Selectmen Mitchell and Jeffrey “Skipper” Manter voted to adopt the Edgartown policy. Mr. Knabel abstained from the vote saying he wanted to review similar policies in effect in the other four towns before deciding.

“Board of selectmen stationery shall not be used for personal correspondence,” the new policy states. “Stationery is only to be used for official correspondence that is authorized by majority vote of the board. Any selectman using the title of selectman on his or her personal stationery should append a disclaimer that said correspondence does not represent an official opinion or position of the board and is solely the view of the undersigned.”

In other business, selectmen voted not to respond to a request from Susan Sanford, owner of Vineyard Complementary Medicine, for a letter of support or non-opposition from the town administrator with regard to her application to become a licensed marijuana dispensary.

Applying as Greenleaf MV Compassionate Care Inc., Ms. Sanford, is one of four business enterprises in Dukes County that cleared the first phase in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health regulatory process seeking permission to open a medical marijuana dispensary on Martha’s Vineyard. Part of the second step in the application process instructs the applicant to “describe efforts to obtain assurances of support or non-opposition from the local municipality(ies) in which the applicant intends to locate a dispensary.”

Selectmen approved the use of Tri-town ambulance reserve funds to purchase a Ford Interceptor four wheel drive vehicle for the ambulance service.

Selectmen approved the following annual appointments: Herring warden, one year, Johnny Hoy; historic district commission, three years, Anne Fischer; Land Bank advisory board, one year, George Hough and William Haynes; library building committee, one year, Eric Lowe and Linda Hearn; local historical commission, three years, Richard Burt; Mill Pond committee, one year, Anna Alley, Barbara Day, Bob Woodruff, Craig Saunders, Kent Healy, and Rez Williams; planning board associate member, one year Henry Gellar; police station building committee, one year, Daniel Rossi, Manuel Estrella 3rd, Norm Perry, and Robert Smith; shellfish advisory committee, one year Jason Gale, Johnny Hoy, Peter Vann, and William Whiting.

Selectmen approved requests from the planning board to appoint Bea Phear as the planning board’s representative to the community preservation committee to replace Jenny Jones who resigned and to appoint Henry Gellar as representative to the affordable housing committee.

Chairman Richard Knabel read from a letter in which AECOM, a technical services company, estimated the cost of the West Tisbury request for proposal for a study of the Mill Brook watershed to exceed $40,000. The town allocated $15,000 for the project in an April town meeting vote. AECOM did not submit a proposal.