Tisbury selectmen ponder beer/wine regs, snow removal fines

Whether ’tis nobler to serve pizza on china or paper plates, that was the question Tuesday, as Tisbury selectmen reviewed the town’s beer and wine license regulations.

Selectman Geoghan Coogan had placed the issue on the agenda as a chance for license holders and residents to comment on the first season of beer/wine sales. Overall, the selectmen agreed that it went well.

Although several restaurant owners and managers joined the discussion, no community members commented. Selectman Tristan Israel wanted to discuss the rule that requires beer and wine license holders to serve food on china.

At Mr. Israel’s request, the selectmen recently granted a one-year waiver of the rule to allow Rocco’s Family Style Italian Restaurant owner Peter Sullo to use paper plates. Mr. Sullo told the selectmen that it would be financially difficult for him to buy dishes and a commercial dishwashing unit right away.

Mr. Israel said Tuesday that although he sympathizes with Mr. Sullo, he has since had doubts about whether using paper plates is good for the environment, because paper making requires that trees must be felled.

The selectmen decided the dishware rule will stand, given that no one has made a formal complaint.

On another issue, Black Dog chief executive Rob Douglas pointed out that due to differences in business models, there are significant increases in costs involved to provide table service in the Black Dog Café versus the Black Dog Tavern, especially for staffing. He offered to provide the selectmen with the financial details.

Turning to a familiar winter topic, the selectmen again debated what to do about residents and business owners who fail to shovel snow from their sidewalks, in violation of a town bylaw. The fine is $20.

Mr. Israel proposed publishing the names of scofflaws in Island newspapers as a symbolic sort of “public pillory,” but selectman chairman Jeff Kristal and Mr. Coogan did not agree that humiliation is the best course of action.

The selectmen agreed the fine should be increased but could not agree on an amount. Instead, they voted unanimously to give town administrator John Bugbee the job of assembling a graduated schedule of fines, starting with a base fine of $50.

In other business, the selectmen approved $15,000 to supplement snow removal funds for the department of public works; the addition of a handicapped parking space on William Street between Spring and Center Streets; and a change order for $4,800 for the Spring Building Restoration Project.