To the Editor:
Dozens of people have come up to me (and still do) in the year since Mopeds Are Dangerous Action Committee (MADAC) took up the cause to eliminate moped rentals on the Vineyard. They ask what’s up with the “moped thing,” congratulating me for our efforts and asking what is currently being done. MADAC brought this issue as far as we could, even getting Island-wide support of the elimination of moped rentals in a nonbinding ballot question in most of the towns. It was determined that the only way to do anything about the moped rental business was through action at the state level. We left that to the selectmen of Oak Bluffs and Tisbury to take care of.
Oak Bluffs’ town counsel drafted a letter for home rule petition and submitted it to the selectmen at one of their regular meetings in the spring of 2017. Home rule exists in Massachusetts to allow local governments to adopt their own laws due to special circumstances that make it necessary if the law differs from state law on the books. The effort appears to have gone no farther.
Brian Packish, one of the Oak Bluffs selectmen, made mention on Facebook that he was going to request the home rule petition issue be discussed at the next selectmen’s meeting, on Tuesday, Feb. 13. I have written to the town administrator in Tisbury to request that the home rule petition is brought up at the next Tisbury selectmen’s meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 6.
We need the involvement of the whole Island now. The only way to make this happen is to urge the selectmen to submit a home rule petition to the state (where, incidentally, success is not guaranteed). It’s disheartening to have to plead with people to engage with our local governing boards on a subject that so many people agree upon. In this time of increased political engagement, MADAC asks you to show your support by taking action. Attend meetings. Make calls. Write letters. We ask all of you who care about this issue to be part of the solution, in order to make our Island roads safer for the future.