Chairman of the West Tisbury selectmen Jeffrey “Skipper” Manter announced that Tuesday, September 16, is the deadline to submit nomination papers to the registrar of voters to fill the position of West Tisbury town moderator.
Voters will chose a new moderator at a special election on November 4 in conjunction with state elections. Tara Whiting, town clerk and registrar, said 20 signatures are required on the nomination papers. The last day to register to vote is October 15.
The special election is needed to fill the vacancy left by the murder of longtime moderator Pat Gregory on May 16 in northern California. Mr. Gregory, 69, and his hiking companion, a 76-year-old male friend from the small nearby town of Manton were just off heavily traveled Highway 36E, north of the county seat of Red Bluff in Tehama County, when they encountered a man who robbed and then shot them. There have been no arrests in the case.
In other town business Wednesday night, selectmen granted Animal Health Care Associates (AHC), located adjacent to the Martha’s Vineyard Airport, an extension to October 14 for the completion of work to add soundproofing material to its kennel facility in order to reduce the noise of barking dogs. The barking dogs have been a source of complaints from neighbors in the nearby Coffin’s Field subdivision.
Rosemary Haigazian, AHC attorney, requested a 30-day extension of the August 24 deadline. In a letter, homeowner Gary Friedman, representing Coffin’s Field neighbors, requested that selectmen only grant a seven-day extension.
Selectmen extended the deadline until October 14, 50 days, to reduce the likelihood that AHC would return for an additional extension. Ms. Haigazian said the materials for the work were delivered but that a health issue prevented owner and veterinarian Steven Atwood from doing the work he had planned to do with his son. A builder has been hired who will begin the work as soon as his schedule permits, she said. She added there was a delay in receiving permission from the airport commission, the holder of their lease.
Also Wednesday, town administrator Jennifer Rand said the Massachusetts department of transportation (DOT) will construct a sidewalk along both sides of a short section of State Road in front of the Howes House on one side and between the two entrances to the Alley’s Store parking lot on the other. She said that the DOT has indicated it will not be brick but either asphalt or concrete and that the town must agree to maintain the sidewalk after it is built. Selectman Richard Knabel said he would prefer concrete. Selectman Cynthia Mitchell and Mr. Manter agreed. They said that the sidewalk should end at the western end of the Howes House and not extend to the Field Gallery where it might reduce the number of parking spaces in front of the town-owned property.