Town police officers attended in force on March 15 to support Police Chief Dan Rossi’s recommendation to the West Tisbury selectmen to promote Garrison Vieira to sergeant. Selectmen approved the appointment “enthusiastically,” and the audience applauded. “Garrison has been with the town of West Tisbury now going on 13 years, it’s well-deserved,” Chief Rossi said.
Sgt. Vieira will replace Sgt. James Neville, who left to join the sheriff’s department. Sgt. Neville was promoted to sergeant in September 2014.
“There were four people eligible to become sergeant, and two applied. After that process, both Lieut. [Matt] Mincone and myself decided we would like to recommend Garrison Vieira enthusiastically to the position of sergeant,” Chief Rossi said.
Sgt. Vieira is married with three children, and for the past twelve years was a patrolman in West Tisbury.
In other business, selectmen also reviewed and signed the 39-article warrant for the upcoming annual town meeting on April 11. The selectmen discussed eight articles whose disposition they will directly influence on the town meeting floor, and shared the job of speaking to these eight articles on town floor.
Included in this list is a $100,000 maintenance article, which asks that the unused balances of various line items from previous town meetings be repurposed to help pay for repairs and upgrades to town buildings, including what is called the “bump” at the back of the library.
Mill Brook ‘bridge’
The project to improve the safety of Mill Brook “bridge” by making it “wider and safer,” an issue for the past 10 to 30 years, was also discussed. (Selectmen were in disagreement about just how long this project has been talked about.)
“We do have the support of our new state representative and our new state senator on this, and that may very well help us get it done within a reasonable time frame,” board chairman Richard Knabel said.
“The first possible year that we would see this happen is 2022,” town administrator Jennifer Rand said. “I am confident that [MassDOT] is working with us.” Ms. Rand added that the plans that do exist on this project are too old to be valid, “so we are starting from nothing.” It was then decided the plans at least had to be revised to meet current standards.
“The bridge would be widened so that it would provide safe passage for vehicles and alternative modes of transportation — bikers, walkers (God help them),” Ms. Rand said. “The goal is to no longer make that a choke point for vehicles passing abreast.”
The town will need letters of support to show MassDOT that there is a desire to move the project forward. The funding will likely come from the transportation improvement plan, yet all six Vineyard towns have access to this money, and they all have their own projects. It is Ms. Rand’s hope that their town can appeal to the other towns about safety, particularly for ambulances and buses.
“The other interesting dispute, as to whether it’s a culvert or a bridge, is not quite yet resolved,” Mr. Knabel said. “Under federal standards, it’s not a bridge because it’s not at least 20 feet long — it’s 17½ feet long.”
There was talk to make this structure into a bridge.”
Selectmen also voted to join the Cape Light Compact Joint Powers Entity (JPE). Cape Light Compact was formed a little less than 20 years ago to be a collective purchasing entity of electricity for the Cape and the Islands. The agreement is up at the 20-year mark, and now the state has changed the governing laws and created the JPE, which allows the Cape Light Compact to become a slightly different business, and will improve its ability to insulate the towns from liability.
Selectmen also approved the budget for MVTV (which now has a kitchen studio to produce cooking shows); approved Ms. Rand to speak with counsel regarding a sticky town employee issue; and approved 140 hours of vacation carryover for town accountant Bruce Stone. “He needs to play more golf,” Mr. Knabel said.