We’ve said before that Tisbury select board chair Jeff Kristal should resign. He won’t. So it’s going to be up to voters to remove him from office, should he choose to run for re-election.
Kristal is out of control, and continues to abuse his power.
John Best, a longtime member of the sewer advisory board, is the latest victim of Kristal’s retribution tour.
Best dared to speak out against Kristal when he attempted to keep quiet the illegal pumping of groundwater into the town’s wastewater treatment by the Mansion House. Best spoke out about the firing of David Thompson, the highly qualified and respected wastewater superintendent, who was fired for blowing the whistle on the Mansion House illegal hookup.
To refresh: The hotel had been pumping as much as 25,000 gallons per day of groundwater from sump pumps into the system without paying for it. While former select board member Jim Rogers talked about seeking some payment from the Mansion House for the illegal hookup, not a word has been uttered by Kristal, or select board members Larry Gomez or Roy Cutrer, since Rogers lost in the town election in June.
But that wasn’t Best’s only sin, in Kristal’s eyes. Best has also pushed back against providing more sewer allotments for businesses because the town’s treatment plant is near capacity, especially when allotments that are set aside for properties not currently using the system are factored in. By providing more allotments, the town is creeping closer to its plant capacity, which would be out of compliance with environmental regulations.
On Wednesday, Sept. 22, the select board considered appointments to several town committees, including the sewer advisory board. They made the appointments on Sept. 22 after announcing publicly that they would accept applications through Sept. 30. And just in case you think we’re responsible for a typo, the Sept. 30 date was posted on the town’s website.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Kristal claimed Best missed the deadline. But the town received Best’s application on Monday, Sept. 20, a day ahead of Chris Scott’s formal letter of application. All meaningless in Kristal’s eyes. He had one focus, and a willing accomplice in town administrator Jay Grande.
Kristal refused to let Best speak during the meeting. Neither Kristal nor Gomez supported a motion by Cutrer to reappoint Best to the board, with Cutrer mentioning Best’s experience in wastewater issues.
Then Kristal voted for Gomez’s motion to appoint Tomar Waldman and Scott as new members to the sewer advisory committee. The motion was to appoint the slate of six candidates, which included Kristal.
That was a departure from the board’s practice of not voting for themselves to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest. But had Kristal recused himself, the vote would have failed on a 1-1 tie, because Cutrer opposed the sewer advisory board vote.
Bravo to the select board’s newest member for standing up to Kristal.
Politics isn’t supposed to be about revenge.
If you don’t think this was retribution by Kristal, you haven’t been paying attention. This is a guy who tried to get a town police officer to write parking tickets because he had a beef with a business owner, Elio Silva.
Gomez claimed he supported Scott and Waldman to provide “new blood” on the sewer advisory board, and Kristal latched onto that. He even suggested that either Gomez or Cutrer could take his spot on the board.
Gomez and Kristal are right. There is a need for new blood in town government — on the select board.