Ballot recount confirms no vote on Tisbury trash truck

A ballot recount in Tisbury on April 13 confirmed the defeat of a Prop. 2.5 override request from the board of public works for $120,000 to replace a refuse truck.

Question number three on the April 27 town election ballot was initially defeated 767-777. The results of last week’s recount, done by hand by six people, came in at 771 yes and 779 no votes, according to town clerk Marion Mudge. The board of registrars monitored the recount and there were no challenged ballots, Ms. Mudge said.

Department of public works (DPW) director Fred LaPiana and Finance and Advisory Committee chairman Larry Gomez acted as observers.

Recounts require a petition request signed by 10 registered voters and must be scheduled within 10 days after an election, Ms. Mudge said. Mr. LaPiana submitted a petition with 12 signatures a few days after the election.

At Tisbury’s April 13 town meeting, Mr. LaPiana told voters that the town’s only large refuse truck, vintage 1997, needs to be replaced because it is in such poor condition. Although the DPW adheres to a policy of “fix before replace,” Mr. LaPiana said, the truck now has holes in the flooring where the garbage is collected and the metal is too thin to repair.

A majority of the town meeting voters unanimously approved a warrant article that corresponded to the refuse truck ballot question that was defeated a few weeks later.

Given the recount results, Mr. LaPiana said in a phone call Tuesday he would make another appeal to voters for funds for a new truck, probably at a special town meeting in September.

In the meantime, Tisbury’s trash truck lost a tie rod and front steering and broke down on Main Street on Monday, Mr. LaPiana said. Should the truck become completely unusable, the DPW would have to collect garbage using a combination of town vehicles, such as pick-up trucks and dump trucks, he added.