Three people are running to represent Tisbury on the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission, Nancy Weaver, Lynne Fraker, and Nora Nevin. Both Weaver and Fraker were interviewed by The Times, while Nevin did not respond to repeated messages left on her home phone.
Weaver has lived on the Island since 1986 with her husband. She’s worked and volunteered at Polly Hill Arboretum and Stannard Farm, which has been certified organic. Previously, she worked for the Black Dog, the Sail Loft, the Steamship Authority, and Norton Farm. “And I loved planting and weeding gardens all over Martha’s Vineyard,” she said.
Fraker has been a Tisbury resident for 28 years, first coming to the Island as an occupational therapy assistant. She joined the Tisbury Fire Department as a firefighter/EMT, but her love of boats took over, and for 20 years she has been a consultant on permitting dock and dredge projects both on-Island and on the Cape. She is a commercial scalloper in the winter, and runs a sail business during the summer. She works part-time as videographer for MVTV.
Weaver has served on the Tisbury conservation commission for more than 25 years, and has represented that board on the Tisbury Land Bank advisory board. “I love walking, bicycling and botanizing all over the Island — shellfishing and paddling in the waters, gleaning and farming from Chilmark to Edgartown, and gardening in my backyard,” she said.
Fraker has been active in Tashmoo management, Tisbury Harbor management, and on the Tisbury dredge committee. She has also worked with other volunteers for public access at Lake Street Landing, complete with a Little Library and memorial benches. “I love taking long morning hikes with my dog over trails and on the beach, all over the Island. There are countless hours working on my wooden sailboat. Sewing sails and covers. And sailing with my dog. Always with my dog alongside.”
Weaver said she would appreciate the opportunity to represent the town, and that’s why she’s running. “The Land Bank has made the Vineyard a better place, and I think my knowledge of the natural environment and my long connection with the town of Tisbury and its government could be useful to the commission,” she said. “I know I would represent you and our town well.”
Fraker said the threat of overdevelopment still looms, and that’s why she’s running. “I fully support the successful Land Bank mission to use transfer fees on real estate purchases to continue to manage and conserve what little land remains for a wide variety of public uses,” she said. “Anyone who has visited any Land Bank property comes to appreciate what has been preserved. Just imagine what this Island that we all love would look like without Land Bank.”
The Land Bank has had its share of controversies, including how it handled the fence at Trade Wind Fields Preserve.
Weaver said she would bring an open mind and problem-solving skills to the commission. “I am a good listener. I have ideas about increasing notice of public meetings and hearings by working with the town and various media. If elected, I’ll make myself accessible for anyone to call or email with questions, comments, or concerns about Land Bank business. I want to know what you think,” she said.
Fraker said she would advocate for more transparency, and improve access to records and meeting notices. “I would like to have the opportunity to work with the Land Bank Commission on the importance of, and better ways to communicate with, the public and town boards,” she said. “I will be advocating for more universal access on trails.”
The Land Bank has conserved more than 3,100 acres over 30 years. “Most importantly, I value the increase in conserved land, and I value public access for all,” Weaver said, noting she will advocate for more collaboration with other community groups. “I’m running for office because Tisbury needs to have a more involved commissioner representing our town. I want to increase public outreach through all forms of media,” she said. “I’m interested and curious, and I enjoy communicating with people. We need someone who goes to the meetings, studies the drafts, and communicates with the town and with residents. I will do that.”
Fraker said she looks forward to working with newly elected commissioners Kristen Reimann and Richard Knight to work toward the commission’s goals of balancing purchases and access to properties. “And working toward giving the public a clear voice in the process,” she said. “It’s the reason why I am a candidate for Land Bank commissioner, proudly representing Tisbury.”
Neither candidate advocates for a purchase plateau for the Land Bank.
“I’d like to see a continued effort to balance the pace of development with the acquisition of land for conservation,” Weaver said.
Fraker would like to see the Land Bank further its mission with regard to affordable housing. “I would like to see this part of the Land Bank mission examined closely, with public input and public forum to look at the Land Bank role in affordable housing — current and future,” she said. “What does that look like? What are the possibilities and limitations?”