Aquinnah tries again for quorum
Having failed once to close the books on fiscal 2009, Aquinnah tried again last night to achieve the quorum needed to convene a special town meeting (an update is available at mvtimes.com).
Prior to last night's meeting Aquinnah town clerk Carolyn Feltz appealed to voters to turn out. "Please make every effort to attend so that we can close FY09 and begin FY10 with our books in order," she said in an email message. "Your attendance would be greatly appreciated by all of us, employees, board and committee volunteer members, and those who generally attend and want to get business done rather than go home and have to come back another day."
The fiscal year closes on June 30.
Last night was Aquinnah's second attempt to hold a special town meeting. Despite previous appeals from Aquinnah town officials, too few voters attended on May 19 to form a quorum. The town needed 39 voters, but only 22 appeared.
Courthouse roof repairs underway
Work began this week on replacement of the Dukes County courthouse roof. Associate Roofing won the contract at $175,000, after a public bidding process, according to county manager Russell Smith. Michael Lynch, a seasonal resident of Chilmark, owns Associate Roofing, which is based in Braintree. The county manager credits state Sen. Robert O'Leary for earmarking money from the state budget for the roof repairs. He said additional funds came from the state's Division of Capital Asset Management.
The leaking roof has been a source of constant complaint from court personnel, dating back more than a decade. Leaking water has damaged ceilings, walls, and light fixtures over the years, and created dangerous working conditions, according to people who do business in the building. The roof is only about 15 years old. It began to fail shortly after it was installed. But county officials say the original warranty is void, because the county did not complete the bi-annual inspection of the roof required by the warranty. The historic courthouse was built in 1859, with large additions added in 1955.
Dukes County leases the building from the state, but according to a report issued by the Dukes County Charter Study Commission, there is no regular maintenance and repair schedule. The report said the county is responsible for maintenance, but is often at odds with the state over funding and has little control over the budget for upkeep of the courthouse.
Edgartown Dairy Queen bandit confesses to crime
The Edgartown Dairy Queen break-in was solved May 28. Zachary L. Gould, 25, a seasonal Oak Bluffs resident, went to the Edgartown Police station that morning, accompanied by his father and attorney Charles Morano. He admitted that he is the man a surveillance camera captured breaking into the popular ice cream shop early Saturday morning, May 23, Edgartown Officer Chris Dolby told The Times last week.