Tisbury selectmen chairman Jeff Kristal kept the pace brisk Tuesday night, wrapping up his last meeting as a selectman in about an hour. Mr. Kristal did not seek reelection and his second term will end with the town election on May 13.Selectmen Tristan Israel and Jon Snyder wished him the best in his next venture. Mr. Kristal is running for the Board of Public Works.
In departmentreports, fire chief John Schilling asked selectmen to agree to move full-time certified EMTs to group four, which includes uniformed employees such as police officers and firefighters, under the Dukes County retirement system. Chief Schilling said the change would give the town’s three full-time EMTs more credit for years of service on the retirement timeline, allowing them to retire sooner, which would be a valuable recruitment and retention tool. Following discussion about the potential costs, the selectmen tabled the issue, in order to get more information, including a pending new town employee classification plan.
Shellfish constable Danielle Ewart reported on proposed changes to the town’s shellfish regulations. Ms. Ewart said she is recommending that the town add a new general regulation to prohibit wet storage of shellfish, which is currently prohibited commercially by a state regulation.
“The reason why is we do see a lot of illness spread to people from shellfish, and also among shellfish as well,” Ms. Ewart said. “Also, if hanging baskets of shellfish go bad, there is no accountability, there are no tags. We don’t know where they came from or where they were harvested, or how long they’ve been there.”
The selectmen agreed to seek comment from the board of health and to schedule a public hearing on June 3 to discuss the proposed regulation.
Town administrator Jay Grande followed up on discussion at Tisbury’s annual town meeting last week regarding two funding requests for replacement vehicles for Animal Control Officer Laurie Clements and Harbormaster Jay Wilbur. Mr. Grande said a pickup truck that Ms. Clements is interested in, as well as one with an extended cab for Mr. Wilbur, is available through Plymouth County’s municipal vehicle bulk purchasing program. The selectmen voted to recommend that Mr. Grande pursue the purchase of two pickups.
In other business, the selectmen voted to disband the emergency services facility building committee and to write a letter of thanks to every member; to allow a “Paint the Town Purple” promotion on May 31 through June 1 for the American Center Society Relay for Life; and to transfer a beer and wine license from the former Zephrus restaurant to the Copper Wok restaurant at the Mansion House.
Mr. Israel also took the opportunity to urge voters to turn out for the election, which includes a general override question on the ballot to allow the town to assess an additional $1.3 million in real estate and personal property taxes. “If it doesn’t pass, it’s the will of the people, but that will certainly cause some problems in the running of our government,” he said.