West Tisbury is leading the way on housing

To the Editor:

I am writing to take issue with the Times’ characterization of the West Tisbury town meeting on April 30. Contrary to the title of the piece (May 2, “West Tisbury backpedals on Housing Bank”), the town did not “backpedal” on the Housing Bank issue. West Tisbury stood alone in actually passing an article supporting it. The down-Island towns declined to do so, Chilmark proposed an alternate plan, and Aquinnah may also have a different idea.

Given that, the town had little choice but to rescind and reconsider Article 24, passed at our April 9 meeting. While West Tisbury remains committed to the concept, it being the best solution to the housing crisis put forward by anyone to this point, we cannot support it by ourselves. Therefore, the prudent thing was to withdraw the article and live to fight another day. To that end, we proposed that an Island-wide committee be formed, comprised of stakeholders from all six towns, to further study the issue and arrive at a solution acceptable to everyone.

We understand the process may have been done in a manner too hasty, and offended the sensibility of some, but it seemed to be the correct course to take at the time. If those folks who had a different idea had worked with the committee, this issue might have been resolved in a more timely and amicable way. In any event, West Tisbury, rather than “backpedaling” on this issue, continues to lead the discussion, and invites our fellow Islanders to join us in finding a resolution to the housing crisis before it becomes unsolvable.


Ted Jochsberger
West Tisbury