Tisbury Natural Resources Committee launches

Officers elected, director and mission statement contemplated.

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The Tisbury Natural Resources Committee met for the first time on the evening of Oct. 9 at the Tisbury Senior Center. — Rich Saltzberg

The Tisbury natural resources committee convened for the first time Wednesday night to elect officers and establish goals. The committee amalgamates the dredge committee, the shellfish committee, and the harbor management committee into a single town entity. 

The new committee elected Island Food Pantry board member Sally Rizzo as chair and Tisbury conservation committee Thom Robinson as vice chair. But the clerk’s position remains unfilled.

The committee deliberated about what their mission statement would be, and whether to move forward with hiring a natural resources director. Such a position, Rizzo later told The Times, might help provide “leadership, coordination, and oversight.” 

Town administrator John (“Jay”) Grande told the new committee the unfunded position, if authorized, would need to be bankrolled at the next annual town meeting, and could thereafter commence July 1, 2020, at the earliest. But he also said the committee need not push for those dates if it doesn’t arrive at an agreement on the position in a timely manner. If established, Grande said, the position would constitute a division leadership role, as opposed to a department leadership role.

The committee took no action on either the mission statement or the natural resource director role.

Rizzo later told The Times she is looking forward to her work on the committee, and as natural resources go, she “loves shellfish” and is an avid recreational shellfisher in Lagoon Pond. 

She also said she isn’t thin-skinned, having previously served on the City of Newton School Committee for eight years, four of those as chair. So whatever political headwinds may come her way as chair, Rizzo said she was confident she can remain objective and unfazed.