Selectmen give owner of foreclosed house a lifeline


West Tisbury selectmen voted unanimously on Wednesday, Dec. 19, to give the former owner of 1034 State Rd., which was taken in a tax foreclosure, 30 days to rectify the situation before the town solidifies its hold of the property.

Selectmen Cynthia Mitchell said she happened to be in the office of town counsel Ron Rappaport when the negotiation for what would become Rappaport’s recommendation of a 30-day grace period was underway.

The town seized the property after a multiyear legal pursuit because $14,546.64, in back taxes were owed. When current taxes and legal fees are added in, the sum is approximately $18,200, according to treasurer and tax collector Kathy Logue.

Town administrator Jennifer Rand asked the selectmen to give the owner “a 30-day period where the town doesn’t move forward with anything, and if at the end of that 30 days if he has not petitioned the court to vacate the order because he’s going to pay off what he owes, then we would begin our process to be able to take more complete possession …”

She went on to say more complete possession would include changing the locks.

“Obviously they will still have a right after that to petition, but it gets more expensive, more complicated,” Logue said.

As Rappaport outlined a week earlier, the owner technically has a year to undo the process.