House cleaners get the greenlight in Tisbury

West Tisbury’s selectmen and board of health echo Tisbury’s decisions.

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Tisbury’s board of health voted to permit house cleaners to return to work immediately. — Rich Saltzberg

Updated 9:10 pm, Friday

The Tisbury Board of Health voted 2-0 Friday morning to allow up to two house cleaners to work in empty dwellings starting May 4. The vote modified Phase 1 worker guidelines already in effect. The board also voted 2-0 to adopt Phase 1.5 guidelines which will permit up to five workers on a jobsite starting May 11. Board member Malcom Boyd recused himself from the votes because he is a Tisbury contractor. 

In a unanimous vote, the board voted to modify the town’s present stay-at-home order to permit restaurants previously unopened when the order went into effect, to open on May 5. Tisbury Health Agent Maura Valley made it clear they would only be allowed to open for delivery and curbside takeout. A question arose as to whether the Tisbury board of selectmen must ratify the board of health votes or if board of health votes are sufficient on their own. Tisbury selectmen Jeff Kristal said he believed the selectmen’s vote amounted to an acknowledgement and wasn’t necessary. However Tisbury town counsel David Doneski weighed in with the opinion that the selectmen’s vote was necessary.

 The selectmen convened later in the day and opted to postpone any votes until Monday.

MacAleer Schilcher asked if his family’s catering business, V. Jamie Hamlin and Sons, would be allowed to open along with other restaurants. Schilcher said the business doesn’t have any money coming in and is aiming to provide food delivery. Valley said she would work with Schilcher and his family to tailor a safe way for them to move forward. 

West Tisbury selectmen met jointly with the board of health Friday evening. After some technical difficulties with the Zoom meeting platform were addressed, the two boards voted in the same changes to restaurants, house cleaners, and Phase 1.5 worker numbers as the Tisbury Board of health did earlier. While the selectmen voted unanimously, it was unclear if the board of health vote was 2-0 or unanimous. Chair Tim Barnett did not participate in the votes, however board member Erik Lowe said Barnett had expressed to his fellow board members how he would vote.  Therefore Lowe characterized the votes as unanimous even without Barnett’s participation. Both boards also voted to sign onto a redrafted Cape and Islands seasonal letter.  Selectman Skipper Manter argued the subject was not posted on the agenda, making a vote a violation of open meeting law. The selectmen voted 2-0 to approve signing on, with Manter the dissenting vote.

Corrected to accurately reflect when housecleaners can return to work and how many may work per dwelling.