Aquinnah will hold special town meeting in June

Spending for up-Island schools to be on warrant.

From left, town administrator Jeff Madison, board of selectmen chairman Gary Haley, vice chair Juli Vanderhoop and selectman Jim Newman. — Brian Dowd

The town of Aquinnah will be holding a special town meeting on June 5 to discuss articles concerning appropriations for the Up-Island Regional School District that were left off the warrant at the annual town meeting last week.

Superintendent Matt D’Andrea met with town selectmen to discuss the two up-Island school projects, one updating the fire alarm system at the West Tisbury School and the other upgrading the heating system at the Chilmark School. D’Andrea apologized to the selectmen, saying the articles did not make it onto the town’s warrant due to a computer glitch when he tried sending them to town administrator Jeff Madison, prior to the town meeting.

“Nothing is free,” Madison wrote in an email to the Times, when asked if another special town meeting would cost the town money. He did not say how much it would cost.

Similar articles had been sent to Chilmark and West Tisbury, and had been approved by each town.

Together the two articles ask voters to take $35,000 from the town building and grounds stabilization fund and transfer it to the general stabilization fund, which can then be used for Aquinnah’s share of the heating system.

In other business, Madison asked selectmen to sign a letter he drafted to the county commission, asking that all future budget communications be submitted in writing by certified mail with copies to the town administrator, accountant, and treasurer. The request was in response to miscommunication between the town and the county commission over the county’s fiscal ’19 budget request being omitted from the budget at the annual town meeting.

A letter was sent to the town asking whether the town wanted to enter into a floating contract with Vineyard Propane to supply propane gas. The selectmen were confused with the wording of the contract, prompting Madison to suggest he contact the company for a clear-cut wording.

The selectmen agreed better communication was needed in the future, and signed the letter for the propane company.

Selectman Gary Haley was appointed chairman of the board, and selectwoman Juli Vanderhoop was made vice chair.