West Tisbury works fast and efficiently
West Tisbury voters approved a $12,973,262 operating budget for the 2010 fiscal year that included a two-percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) for town employees at annual town meeting Tuesday.
Today, voters go to the polls from noon to 8 pm at the West Tisbury Public Safety Building. The one ballot question asks whether the town should continue to elect its town clerk. The measure was defeated on town meeting floor.
In the three contested races, Jemima James and Tara Whiting compete for a one-year term as town clerk; incumbent Michael Colaneri, chairman of the assessors, faces a challenge from Jonathan Revere for a three-year term as assessor; and Sarah L. Carr, Harvey W. Garneau Jr., Melissa M. Hackney, and Isaac D. Russell will vie for two seats on the library board of trustees.
Town moderator F. Patrick Gregory declared a quorum shortly after 7 pm with 245 voters in attendance, 11 percent of the town's 2,222 registered voters and more than double the required quorum of 111 voters. More than half, 137 voters, stayed through the three and one half hour meeting to vote on the last of the 45 warrant articles.
Mr. Gregory kept the meeting moving, and voters by and large were willing to follow.
For example, a long, complex proposed bylaw detailing regulations for the construction and use of wind turbines was indefinitely postponed by voters with virtually no discussion, after planning board member Leah Smith said that more time was needed to develop energy regulations in concert with the Vineyard Energy Project and other Island towns.
Poet laureate Dan Waters set the tone for a generally upbeat meeting with a
poetic reading of a humorously wry "Letter From a Small Town" to the U.S. President in which he decried the recent behavior of the financial community: "...If the Dow was a cow, we'd be calling the vet.
And those corporate bonuses -what can we say? We'd be shocked by our pigs if they acted that way. ..." Mr. Waters's verse also advised the president that the town's handling of leaf-eating moths last year qualifies it to solve the current national economic woes, provided Mr. Obama sends a few million dollars.
Jen Rand, executive secretary, alerted voters to a new policy that denies permits of any kind to residents with delinquent tax bills.