More to the parking lot story

To the Editor:

I am writing to you to tell you that the article “Tisbury selectmen, public review new parking lot redesign” in the January 30 Martha’s Vineyard Times, was incorrect on many fronts. The most disturbing was the picture/design printed that only showed the Stop & Shop designers’ (VHB) rendering. It is the public parking lot, not the Stop & Shop’s. Since the other drawings were not represented in the M V Times, we come away with the idea that that drawing is the final design, but it is not. Even though the article clarifies that no decision was made, as we all know, this drawing, pictured with the article, is now locked in the minds of your readers.

Since the public has not kept up with the meetings or the debates that have lasted almost a year, and it is known that whatever is written usually is accepted as truth, especially from local newspapers, it is your — and the staff’s — duty to regularly follow and report all the current discussion. I would encourage you to have your reporter(s) come to every meeting concerning the public parking lot in Tisbury and be familiar with what is going on with the Stop & Shop at the MVC, the parking lot design committee, and the planning board so that that person(s) could be familiar with all the clear and the cloudy issues surrounding this publicly owned property, which includes the public restroom.

Focusing on the public parking lot in Tisbury at this moment. It is up to your paper to follow every twisted turn and to be impartial. Show the other two designs with follow-up articles.

This parking lot will be a major turning point in the downtown Tisbury retail district. At the moment the design of the public parking lot devoid of the public restroom appears one-sided.

As far as the existing public restroom is concerned, the Stop & Shop is not public, so the proposed rest rooms would be in private property (not public).  As of yet, no guarantees have been set forth about their restrooms or the operational hours. The Steamship Authority had mentioned in a prior meeting that they would discourage the sole use of their restrooms.

The SSA is not a public nor private entity. Who said that they should take on the extra burden?

Restrooms in the police station? Who wants to go into the police station to go the bathroom? Since the retailers around Main Street, Union Street, State Road, etc. rarely if ever let patrons use their restrooms, this leaves the public and visitors alike in a quandary.

All along the public restroom has been discussed and is still to be decided. There have been various numbers tossed about the upkeep for four months of the year, none of which have been verified. To add to this, very few people know that there is a generator in the building that services the town of Tisbury’s septic pump. Or that under the parking lot are town electric services. So now when the shade is pulled back, what are we about to expose? This is where the article(s) of the MVT needs to be more thorough and not appear as if the newspaper is partial to one outlook.

As part of the public who has been sitting in on and speaking out at the parking lot design committee, planning board, MVC meetings, the William Street Historic District Commission, of which I am a member, and the selectmen meetings, all pertaining to the Stop & Shop, I find that there has been a disservice to the public. There needs to be follow-up articles even weekly so that the public can follow with a clearer vision this major proposed development.

The last thing I expect would be the MVTimes being one-sided. I hope this is not the case.

Dana Hodsdon

Tisbury