Big money choices in West Tisbury
Last night voters in West Tisbury met to decide two controversial issues, as well as act on more routine matters. The meeting was too late to make today's print edition of The Times, but you can read what happened at www.mvtimes.com this morning.
Voters faced a decision over the newly-discovered $5.5 million cost of the town hall renovation project, which was approved last year at a cost of $3.7 million. If voters decided not to vote the additional $1.8 million needed to go ahead, the town will have wasted $355,000 in architects' fees and other costs related to the original project and will have to begin again from scratch on the town hall.
Voters also confronted the costs of defending the town against William Graham's lawsuit before the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board. One article was for $56,000 billed in FY05, and the other was to increase the budget for legal fees in FY06 by $200,000. Because the town did not budget for these expenses, they are being brought to the voters retroactively. The majority of these services have already been rendered. Voting no on these articles might have the effect of derailing the town's defense, favored by some, but could result in further lawsuits from the lawyer and appraisers who have been working on the case.