Waste not


John Bacheller deserved better from the town of Tisbury. (And, frankly, he deserved better from this newspaper, which followed the town’s incorrect spelling of his name on the board of selectmen’s weekly agenda.)

Last week, Mr. Bacheller went before the Tisbury board of selectmen to be interviewed for the town’s government study panel.

Mr. Bacheller has an impressive background to serve on such a panel. He’s a retired history and civics teacher. What better credentials to explore whether Tisbury’s government is working or whether it needs an overhaul of some sort?

He’s got the time.

He’s got the inclination.

He’s not eligible.

What? Shouldn’t town leaders have known that before they had him show up at town hall? Of course they should have, but they didn’t. Mr. Bacheller already serves on the town’s Community Preservation committee, as well as the William Street Historic District committee.

When voters approved studying town government, they decided that it would be a good idea to avoid having people already serving in government make a recommendation about its future.

It was a smart idea, really, because it adds more credibility to the review. You’re not as worried that someone has joined the panel to promote his or her own agenda.

It wasn’t until the interview was nearly over and Mr. Bacheller had made a strong case for being on the government study panel that selectman Tristan Israel’s recollection was confirmed — the board is only open to someone who hasn’t been elected or appointed to serve on a town committee.

Shame on the board for wasting his time that night.

At least chairman Larry Gomez had the good sense to move his interview to the top spot on the meeting’s agenda. Otherwise, Mr. Bacheller would have had the double whammy of being cast aside as a candidate after sitting through the board’s lengthy agenda.