Robinson hearing delayed

Ben Robinson confers with town clerk Hilary Conklin after a brief hearing Friday. — Rich Saltzberg

Tisbury’s board of registrars punted Friday afternoon on the issue of planning board member Ben Robinson’s residency in the town. 

Tisbury resident Mark Alexander accused Robinson, who is also on the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, of not being a legal resident of the town. The board was set to explore the matter at a 12:30 pm hearing at Tisbury Town Hall, but chair Catherine Mayhew told those gathered that town counsel couldn’t attend, so the hearing would be continued. She permitted the hearing to open only long enough to make that announcement and to deliberate with her peers on scheduling. The board approved continuing the hearing to Friday, Nov. 15, at 12:30 pm. Robinson, who was present with his family, made no public comment, nor did his attorney, Eric Peters.


  1. I don’t need a lawyer to prove where I live. Most people have lease papers or electric bill, propane or home heating oil bill that shows where the delivery happens. You can file your taxes and get your mail to a PO or UPS box, but electrity is supplied to an address. Why the need for a lawyer. There must be some document between the homeowner and renter? Wouldn’t that make this a moot question. Let me guess? No documents, thus the lawyer. Just guessing. We will all have to wait another week for this drama to unfold. A classic, “he said”, “he said” and now a lawyer.

  2. One can have many ‘places of abode’ but ONE domicile. Generally where you file your federal & state income taxes, as well as your registration to vote should be the same address and would meet the criteria for ‘domicile’.

  3. Huh, the problem you have with understanding Robinson’s need for a lawyer, is the nature of the accusation against him.
    The burden of proof as to whether he is a resident or not remains with the accuser.
    The accuser may not rely on Robinson waiving his Constitutional protections against self incrimination by admitting or tendering anything. But Tisbury does this anyways. Make some wild accusation and try to force you to refute it.
    I don’t blame Robinson for bringing his attorney, it will help document the Constitutional violations needed for the civil suit which is likely to follow.
    The spectre of civil suits seems to follow the actions of Tisbury officials quite regularly these days.

  4. I always thought primary domicile was where you slept most. I do know if your home is on a town line it is where the master bedroom is that determines domicile.

  5. How about some cancelled checks over the past couple of years that show a reasonable monthly payment made to the landlord. Something around 6 months per year? Tisbury board of registrars, town council, these are very easy “asks”.

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