Chilmark selectmen set the warrant for spring annual

Beer and wine question on the list of 35 warrant articles.

Selectmen James Malkin, chairman Warren Doty, and Bill Rossi. – Edie Prescott

Chilmark selectmen played serious catchup this week, because consideration of several town meeting agenda items had been postponed due to travel and illness of selectmen. They did check all the boxes during their Tuesday session, beginning with agreeing on the 35-article warrant for the upcoming town meeting.

Selectmen reviewed and agreed on the collection of questions, and moved a draft copy on to town counsel to review wording, and to insert final price tags for items that have not yet been tallied. The final version is expected in the next day or two.

Topping the warrant is the ever-controversial beer and wine question, which will be presented mid-warrant, as selectmen have listened to feedback that the largely older constituency would rather not wait until the end of the meeting to hear that topic discussed.

The warrant last night got a swap-out, as human resources board (HRB) chairman Jenny Greene withdrew the HRB’s article. Ms. Greene suggested the HRB article be included in a fall special town meeting, because her board has agreed that more study is necessary.

Selectmen agreed that Chilmark will join the “joint powers entity,” which is a new organizational structure for Cape Light Compact, pending final review by town counsel.

“Cape Light Compact was formed 15 to 18 years ago to be a collective purchasing electricity for Cape and the Islands customers,” executive secretary Tim Carroll said. “The agreement comes up in 20 years, and has to be restarted; in the meantime, the state has changed the laws and created this thing called the joint powers entity (JPE), which allows the Cape Light Compact to become a slightly different entity. It will improve the ability to insulate the towns from liability. Counsel has reviewed it, as have the counsels from other communities, and they support it, saying it is a better alternative than currently what we have,” Mr. Carroll said.

Selectmen approved a motion by chairman Warren Doty, “To join the Cape Light Compact Joint Powers Entity, to authorize the executive secretary to execute a joint power agreement with the Cape Light Compact JPE, subject to final review by town counsel, and to appoint Timothy Carroll as the town’s director and Robert Hannemann as the town’s alternate director to the Cape Light Compact Joint Powers Entity.”

Selectmen approved an improvement plan for the Menemsha parking lot. The improvement plan will be done by Vineyard Land Surveyors, who will mark out 63 general parking spaces and three handicap spaces. The plan will locate a small bus shelter and design solar-powered lighting. Selectmen expect to spend $15,000 on the work.

Regarding the Menemsha dredging, selectmen have asked the Army Corps of Engineers to remove their equipment by March 31, or the town may take legal action. “It’s like an armada out there,” selectman James Malkin said.

In other business, selectmen approved addition of a nonbinding affordable housing ballot question at the annual meeting. Its sponsors want the question to appear on all six town annual town warrants.

Selectmen appointed Anne Cook to the beach committee, and appointed Susan Murphy cemetery superintendent.

Selectmen also confirmed their acceptance of a piano donation from the Guiney family. “It is a very good, serviceable living room piano,” Mr. Doty said, adding that David Stanwood, who examined the piano, told him so. “It is not a concert piano, but will be very useful for the community center.”

There is a $600 delivery cost and a $200 cost to build a movable stand for the piano.