To the Editor:
The people of Oak Bluffs have an opportunity to change the makeup of the board of selectmen. The current board has lost touch with the mission. Don’t vote for someone because he or she is a friend. Don’t vote for them because they bought a round of beers. There are some new people running; take a close look, they could help the new direction we need to go.
Local input used to be held at the start of meetings. The current board has it scheduled at the end of meetings, and it is usually gaveled into oblivion anyway. They don’t want to hear it. Gone are the days of great meetings where they argued and made decisions in a public manner. The board of health and selectmen’s meetings were not-to-be-missed TV. Now they sit with their minds made up in advance.
Gail Barmakian is the only one who loves a good debate. The board treats her very disrespectfully. They even passed her chairmanship over. I believe that was a first. We didn’t elect a team, we elected individuals, and expected them to act that way. Last year we saw Burton/Coogan on one sign: Teams are good in sports, not local politics.
It was interesting that none of the selectmen have responded to the handicap-access problems in Oak Bluffs. They should, and their hesitation to do so shows rampant ignorance and self-serving interests. Value your vote.