Selectmen accept building inspector’s disclosure

Tisbury selectmen accepted Ken Barwick's disclosure of a potential conflict of interest to inspect the renovation of the Marine Hospital. —Stacey Rupolo

Tisbury building inspector Ken Barwick, despite living in the same neighborhood with the proposed Martha’s Vineyard Museum, will be allowed to issue the building permit and do inspections for the construction project.

In a unanimous vote Thursday, the board of selectmen approved a disclosure made by Mr. Barwick to the state Ethics Commission of his potential conflict of interest.

The only reluctance on the part of selectmen was the workload the project is going to generate for Mr. Barwick’s office. The museum has raised $24 million to renovate the Marine Hospital on Lagoon Pond Road into its future home.

The year-long project is expected to require a lot of attention, Fire Chief John Schilling said. “The man puts in more hours than anyone I know of,” Chief Schilling said of Mr. Barwick. “To ask him to shoulder this load by himself is beyond reason.”

The board had a lengthy discussion about the possibility of adding staff, sharing resources with other Island towns, or encouraging more people in the community to seek certification as inspectors. As part of the decision to authorize Mr. Barwick to inspect the project, the board will check in with him and museum officials on a quarterly basis to see how things are going.