At selectmen’s meetings on Thursday and Tuesday, Tisbury selectmen discussed a petition with 22 signatures intended to place an article on the town meeting warrant that would pave the way to allow restaurants to obtain licenses for the sale of all alcoholic beverages, including liqueurs and cordials, and not just beer and wine.
On Tuesday, Tisbury town administrator Jay Grande said the petition language, which references a special town meeting warrant, needed clarification. The town attorney suggested a new petition with the correct language be submitted, Mr. Grande said, which the selectmen voted to allow.
The April 2010 vote to allow restaurants to serve beer and wine followed a long and protracted political struggle. Voters ultimately approved a ballot question 881-747 at town elections, which ended Tisbury’s 180-year history as a dry town.
Thursday, board of selectmen chairman Tristan Israel questioned whether the article would go to a ballot vote if passed at town meeting.
“I think whether you’re for or against it, it should be owed to the town that this be voted on by a ballot,” Mr. Israel said, adding that he is “unabashedly opposed” to the amendment.
Selectman Larry Gomez, however, stressed the importance of town meeting petitions.
“I think petitions get the public more involved, and it’s a good thing,” he said. “Anyone with a petition will debate that at town meeting.”
Selectmen voted Tuesday that, in the event that the article passes town meeting, it will go to a ballot vote following review by state lawmakers.
In other business Thursday, the selectmen thanked Officer Michael Gately for his 30 years of service as a Tisbury police officer, which was met with a round of applause in the audience. Officer Gately retired in February. Selectmen also announced that Tisbury shellfish constable Danielle Ewart will give a eelgrass presentation at a public meeting on April 5 at 5:30 at the town hall.