At their weekly meeting on June 4, West Tisbury selectmen hired Kathy Logue as town treasurer for a three-year term beginning June 5. Ms. Logue was the only applicant for the job and the vote was unanimous. Voters agreed to switch the job from an elected to an appointed position at town meeting April 8 and at the ballot box two days later. The personnel board must approve the decision.
Ms. Logue suggested the job be made an appointed position due to what she described at town meeting as the increased complexity of the job and the limited pool of qualified townspeople who might run for the position. Because selectmen may hire people to fill appointed positions from outside the town it greatly expands the possibility of finding experienced, qualified town employees.
Ms. Logue was elected treasurer for 11 consecutive one-year terms. She will be paid approximately what she was earning as an elected official, $41.95 per hour.
In other business Kenneth Vincent was appointed to the personnel board by a unanimous vote.
Building inspector in training Joe Tierney said that building permits have been paid for and issued to contractors for the town’s solar array project over the old town landfill. He said that supplies were delivered to the site and that he expects work to begin soon on the project that was delayed when the first company contracted to build the array went out of business.
Oak Lane road association member Janet Bank asked the selectmen if they would support a move to use a betterment tax to aid in the financing of the paving of Oak Lane. All three selectmen spoke to their lack of knowledge about the betterment tax but voted unanimously to “do their due diligence” if the required number of landowners abutting the road agreed to the project.
The state betterment tax enabling legislation requires a two-thirds vote of the abutters and approval from the local governing authority. The betterment tax is a method by which the town would assume responsibility for collecting the cost of a project benefiting a specific group from the members of the group.
About half of the hour and a half meeting was devoted to show and tell with representatives of the Cape Light Compact (CLC) demonstrating an LED streetlight they would like to use to replace the 53 streetlights in West Tisbury. CLC program manager Kevin Galligan said the lights would save the town approximately $4,800 a year in energy costs using LED technology. The new fixtures would be installed at no cost to the town as part of the CLC energy efficiency plan approved by the Massachusetts department of public utilities. The CLC lights have been installed in the Island towns of Chilmark, Edgartown and Oak Bluffs.
Town resident David Stanwood joined the show and tell hauling up a fifty year old “admiral’s hat” streetlight fixture, the type used to provide light on some poles in town. He said he preferred to keep the old fixtures. Reading from a written statement he said, “Part of the costs that were not considered with the proposed change to LED is the loss of aesthetic value to our lighted streets at night.” The West Tisbury historic district commission will address the issue of the older fixtures when they meet at 5:30 pm, Monday June 9, at the Howes house.