Chilmark selectmen become a select board

Chilmark selectmen voted unanimously Tuesday night to become a select board. - Rich Saltzberg

On the recommendation of the Martha’s Vineyard Women’s Forum, Chilmark selectmen voted unanimously Tuesday night to become a select board. The vote follows inroads on the subject made months earlier by the board. That work was never finished, town administrator Tim Carroll reminded the board ahead of the vote. Carroll told the board town counsel recently determined the board could call itself a select board as soon as it desired, but in order for the name to carry legal weight, a home rule petition to the legislature would be required. 

“Good, so we are now the select board,” chair Bill Rossi said following the vote, “and whatever process is legally required, we’ll start that process immediately.” 

Chilmark joins Edgartown, which voted in the change to a select board on Monday, and Tisbury, the first Vineyard town to make the change. 

After recently receiving news the commonwealth is again allowing scheduling flexibility for local elections, the newly minted select board voted unanimously to set the town election for May 26 and the annual town meeting for May 24. Previously, both an annual town election and a special town election on different dates appeared necessary as a result of recent news that longtime town moderator Everett Poole wouldn’t seek re-election. The state nod to reschedule annual elections made a single date in May possible. The board also voted unanimously to formally notify the town clerk of the vacancy in the position of moderator 

Town clerk Jennifer Christy, who attended the meeting, expressed support for a single town election held in May.

“I think it’s better for town voters, which is always my first consideration,” she said.

The board opted not to address the annual town meeting warrant until its next meeting.