West Tisbury hires new police officer


The West Tisbury Police Department is now at full strength. In their last meeting of 2010, selectmen appointed Matthew Gebo, 26, of Edgartown to fill the vacancy created when former Sgt. Dan Rossi became the town’s new police chief.

Acting on the recommendation of Chief Rossi, selectmen Richard Knabel and Cynthia Mitchell agreed to the appointment on December 29. Mr. Gebo has served as a year-round special officer for a year and a half. He will start fulltime employment at a salary of $51,845. The department now employs nine officers.

Selectman Jeffrey (Skipper) Manter, a sergeant on the West Tisbury police force, abstained from the vote.

In other business, the selectmen reappointed Brian Smith to represent the town on the Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC). Mr. Smith attended the Wednesday meeting to update the selectmen on issues being addressed by the MVC.

Mr. Smith said that beginning January 10, the MVC will hold public meetings to discuss the developments of regional impact (DRI) process. “I think there is the recognition that the DRI process needs to be looked at to determine what a regional impact is, really,” Mr. Smith said.

Mr. Knabel asked Mr. Smith if he believes that the DRI process needs to be reviewed. “Very much so,” he said. Mr. Smith said that he thinks the definition of a project having a regional impact should be more realistic.

Mr. Smith said that since the FY 2012 MVC draft budget request of $1.2 million (a 3.9 percent increase over FY 2010) received a lot of media attention, the revised budget, if approved, will be the same as that of FY 2011, $1,167,625. The assessment for West Tisbury will remain the same, $113,264 as FY 2011. Mr. Smith said it is now a “pretty fair budget.”

The MVC is also expected to deliver to the selectmen a 19-page proposed wind farm development regulation document by the end of 2010. Mr. Knabel said that the document is now in its eleventh draft.

Road repairs

Mr. Knabel asked Chief Rossi to see if the Massachusetts Department of Transportation could replace missing delineators from the intersection of State Road and Old County Roads. After the recent snow storm, only two of the ten originally installed delineators remain. Chief Rossi said he will contact state officials.

Chief Rossi also said that the delineators installed by the state officials during the summer were not the design the town requested, and this contributed to the recent loss. Mr. Knabel asked Mr. Rossi to ask the state to revisit the design of the delineators used, looking for the type that bend and pop back when hit by a vehicle.

The next regular meeting of the selectmen will be on January 12.