Death of Pat Gregory overshadows West Tisbury selectmen’s meeting


It was not town business as usual at the weekly meeting of the West Tisbury selectmen Wednesday. The recent robbery and murder of Pat Gregory, longtime town moderator, was on the minds of town officials. Following a moment of silence, selectman Cynthia Mitchell read a eulogy with tears in her eyes, halting several times, as she recounted Mr. Gregory’s contributions to the town and to the Vineyard community.

She also read several remembrances from townspeople and a brief statement from Mr. Gregory’s family thanking the community for sharing its love and grief with them.

Selectman Richard Knabel read from notes expressing thanks for all that Mr. Gregory had done for the town and the Island.

Selectman Jeffrey “Skipper” Manter was not present at the meeting.

West Tisbury resident Benoit Baldwin presented the town with a framed poem he wrote, “Elegy for Pat Gregory,” Ms. Mitchell read.

In other business, town administrator Jennifer Rand said that the town had received only one bid of $100,000 to replace the fence around the State Road cemetery. “More than we have money for,” she said.

Voters approved $75,000 for the project at town meeting in April. “Some people thought $75,000 was a lot of money for the project,” she said.

She said it might be difficult to get approval for more money and suggested reviewing the project, noting that the section of fencing that will be unpainted costs significantly less than the painted section at the front of the cemetery. Selectmen agreed to take the issue up at another time.

At the request of police chief Dan Rossi, selectmen unanimously approved the renewal of three-year contracts for three officers.

Selectmen issued event permits for a Haiti peace quilt sale fundraiser and the Farmers Market at the Grange Hall.

There was a unanimous vote to allow the planning board access to counsel to discuss zoning bylaw changes approved at town meeting.

Selectmen agreed to reschedule the next meeting to Thursday, May 29, at 4:30 pm at the West Tisbury Library to avoid a conflict with Mr. Gregory’s memorial service on Wednesday at 4 pm at the Agricultural Hall.