Disappointed by health board decision


To the Editor:

Wow. When it comes to governance and leadership, each day I am even more disappointed. I attended this week’s West Tisbury board of health meeting (July 8) because the COVID-19 vaccination mandate was on its agenda. I was hoping that perhaps the board of health members (whom we elected) would reconsider their decision to refuse to require town employees —  especially those working with vulnerable seniors — to be vaccinated. I was hoping that the Aquinnah select board decision to require vaccinations would cause West Tisbury to “see the light.” Nope. 

Board member Jessica Miller said that West Tisbury is “not ready” to reconsider its decision. I suggested a compromise plan that would continue the staff mask requirement and still let the Up-Island Council on Aging provide the in-person services that safely — without masks — meet the needs of vaccinated seniors. Nothing doing. I asked when West Tisbury would be ready to reconsider its position. Ms. Miller said she did not know. And so the seniors of the up-Island communities, who so often have relied on the senior center for their sense of well-being, must choose to remain isolated just as the rest of the Island tries to return to a healthy, safe “normal.” We can do better. 


Susan Silk
West Tisbury