West Tisbury authorizes Proposition 2½ override

West Tisbury selectmen have authorized a Proposition 2½ override to cover 2021 warrant appropriations — among them, $100,000 to redo the Tiah's Cove Road culvert.

West Tisbury selectmen voted unanimously Wednesday evening to authorize a Proposition 2½ override to cover appropriations on the annual town meeting warrant. The override is estimated at $200,000, but won’t be finalized until the warrant is approved. 

One item on the warrant the selectmen agreed to keep was a $100,000 repair and upgrade of the Tiah’s Cove Road culvert. Selectmen Kent Healy reiterated reservations about a culvert project that he’d expressed in prior meetings. 

Healy said “several years ago,” we knew the Tiah’s Cove Road culvert was “not in good condition,” and that “we” wanted to have a plan ready if a problem arose. 

“I designed a fix for it,” he said. “Turns out the fix for it is much more expensive than any of us had ever considered, because it’s in the headwaters of the Tisbury Great Pond. The plan was approved by the conservation commission.”

Healy stressed, “There’s no emergency,” and predicted “that road is not going to fail. They will not be shut off.”

He summed up his thoughts by saying, “There’s no real need to do anything until it needs to be done.”

Nevertheless, he told the board he wouldn’t object to leaving the question up to West Tisbury voters.

Chair Cynthia Mitchell acknowledged that “there seems to be a little bit of a debate,” but added that she “would be in favor of leaving it on [the warrant] and having the voters decide.”

Mitchell went on to say, “Kent, you can make your case at town meeting.”

Healy wasn’t done with the subject. He emphasized he didn’t see a danger if a “problem” occurred with the culvert: “The road would not fail if there were a problem … It would be a couple inches of water over the road, which most of us can drive through.”

The board ultimately agreed to keep the item on the warrant.

In other business, at the request and recommendation of Police Chief Matt Mincone, the board voted unanimously to add Officer Bradley Cortez to the West Tisbury Task Force Against Discrimination. He will take Mincone’s spot on the task force.

Officer Cortez called the appointment an “honor.”
“Frankly, I can think of nobody better,” Mitchell said of Cortez.