Taxi driver’s license put on hold after OUI

Jermaine Sharpe, whose taxi license was not approved, and Police Chief David Rossi listen as the Edgartown board of selectmen discuss whether to grant Mr. Sharpe's appeal. — George Brennan

A taxi driver will be sitting on the sidelines during the busy summer season after Edgartown Police Chief David Rossi denied his license and the board of selectmen upheld the chief’s decision.

Jermaine Sharpe, who admitted sufficient facts in August to a charge of operating under the influence of alcohol, appeared before selectmen on Tuesday to appeal the chief’s ruling.

“I have been alcohol-free for five months now,” Mr. Sharpe told the board. “I’ve been invited to be a recovery coach for someone going through what I went through.”

Mr. Sharpe said he would like to be able to work for Adam Cab.

Calling him a “decent kid,” Chief Rossi said he would at least want Mr. Sharpe’s probation to be over before reinstating his license.

Board members agreed with the chief in a unanimous vote.

Once Mr. Sharpe’s probation is over Sept. 22, the case will be continued without a finding so long as he stays out of trouble, Chief Rossi said.

In other business:

The board plans to issue a violation letter to Back Yard Taco, a restaurant at 33 Winter Street. The restaurant shut down with no advance warning to the town, an apparent violation of its liquor license, town administrator Pam Dolby said.

The restaurant owners posted on the company’s Facebook page that they plan to be gone until next week. “Unfortunately, we will be closed until June 8th for family trip overseas!!!!,” the May 29 post states. “Sorry for the inconvenience.”

That may work for notifying customers, but the town needs to be told when a business plans to close, administrative assistant Kristy Rose told The Times. Having a seasonal liquor license requires a restaurant to be open at least three days a week in Edgartown, she said.

The board scheduled a public hearing on its shellfish regulations for 4 pm on June 19. Copies of the regulations will be available at Edgartown Town Hall or on the town’s website, Ms. Dolby said.

The biggest changes in the regulations have to do with aquaculture, shellfish constable Paul Bagnall said.

A pop-up real estate shop is being planned at a vacant storefront at 40 Main Street. Gary Conover, an Edgartown businessman, asked the board of selectmen for permission to do some painting and other work on the building to get it ready. He promised the board the work would be done from about 5:30 am and would wrap up before 8 am, though the police chief and others said he could likely work until 10 am without disturbing other businesses in the busy downtown.

Meanwhile, board members told Lil Province that her clients at 23 Morse Street would have to get a pear tree planted by the end of September. The board allowed the homeowner to take down another shade tree with the condition that a replacement tree would be planted.

Ms. Province explained that a drainage problem at the house prevented planting the tree, and the homeowner sought an extension until next spring. “They want to make sure the drainage issue is fixed,” she said.

But the board rejected that idea, saying there is plenty of time before the end of September to figure out the drainage issues and get the tree in the ground.

Car owners parked in the Dark Woods parking lot, a town-owned park and ride lot, are being warned to remove their cars or face getting tickets and, ultimately, towed at their expense.

Officials said there are as many as a dozen cars that appear to have been abandoned in the lot.

“Come July, we need every space,” selectman Michael Donaroma said.

Chief Rossi said the town’s police department plans to begin issuing tickets on Thursday.

Speaking of Mr. Donaroma, fellow selectman Margaret Serpa jumped to his defense at the end of the board’s public business Tuesday. Ms. Serpa said Mr. Donaroma had been maligned by reports that his business received money as a subcontractor for a town sidewalk project.

Mr. Donaroma did not vote on the $500,000 contract in February, which was awarded to Lawrence Lynch. His company did agree to do subcontracting work this spring to help move the sidewalk project along, and received $36,000, according to Mr. Donaroma and Ms. Dolby.

Mr. Donaroma has a disclosure on file with the town clerk noting his ownership of a nursery and landscaping business in town.

“Thank goodness you’re a big guy, because I think you were unjustly criticized for filling in when the street sidewalks needed to be finished,” Ms. Serpa said. “If people would recognize what you do for nothing, then maybe that would be a little bit better to recognize.”

Mr. Donaroma thanked her. “People have their opinions,” he said.