The West Tisbury special town meeting was adjourned at 7:20 pm when a quorum of 114 voters failed to materialize at the West Tisbury School Tuesday. This is the first time a special meeting was adjourned for lack of a quorum.
“We are 20 percent short,” moderator F. Patrick Gregory told the 87 voters in attendance,”so we are going to adjourn until a week from tonight and ask everyone to ask their friends to come along and hopefully we will have a quorum.”
A few minutes earlier, Mr. Gregory asked those in attendance to call their family and friends to try to get to the required number. A few stragglers came through the door, however, not the needed number.
Voters will take up the five-article warrant again at 7 pm, Tuesday, June 15.
Two warrant articles pertain to the Bailey Park Road affordable housing project where land was obtained by the town through a number of tax title foreclosures. Both articles address the issue of authority making clear that the selectmen would have the authority to sell the property to a chosen developer or otherwise dispose of the property while maintaining it as intended for affordable housing.
A special town meeting is required because the voters have never given the selectmen the authority to transfer or sell the Bailey Park. “It is very important that we deal with the two articles on the affordable housing project. The whole process of Bailey Park is being held up without this vote,” Richard Knabel, chairman of the selectmen said after the meeting.
Mike Colaneri, a member of the housing committee, said the failure to gather a quorum was very unfortunate. “It is sad that people do not want to participate in government,” he said.
Mr. Knabel said that “people are distracted. They are getting busy. We have to do a better job of publicizing and getting our friends to come. If everyone comes it will only take a half hour.”