Need for ‘new blood’ is clear


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.


  1. Thank you for recapping this George. There are soo many misdeeds that those 2 public enemies (Kristal & Grande) have committed that it’s hard to keep them all straight. Truthfully, I had forgotten about a few until you just jogged my memory. Please keep showing the public the truth so they have the knowledge to remove these vindictive, power hungry, self-serving public enemies. I can’t wait until they are on the other side of the pendulum very soon… being bullied and powerless.

  2. The note from MVTimes is completely unprofessional. Assertions without true knowledge of the facts. While we are not in a court of law, I would hate to have MVTimes on a jury. You are speculating as to Kristals motives. You assume whistleblowing but you dont really know. You accuse Grande of being a ”willing accomplice” and you use terms like ”out of control” without definition. You dont know details of the Mansion House issue and you know very little of the logistics of running a town and how complicated are the decisions Kristal needs to make. It could be that Kristal is an incompetent bully but there are plenty of other reasons for Kristals decision on Mansion House and Best and David Thompson. If one had a fly on the wall inside the MV Times enterprize one could make all manner of assertions about personnel decisions, and administration practices of the the MVTimes without facts. How about interviewing Kristal–(have you tried?) and hearing his side of the story.

    • I understand that you are contrarian for the sake of being contrarian, but:

      1) A quick perusal of previous Kristal stories in this paper show that Kristal has been reached out to repeatedly for his side of the story, and he has not been willing to provide that, outside of a written statement provided to Grande.
      2) Your characterization of “assertions without true knowledge of the facts” is interesting, given that the main source of one of the previous stories was directly from the police report.

      • Mr Daley what was the Police Report? Was it a report that determined that Kristal is a bully and a vindictive fool? Or was it a report that told us Kristal asked someone to follow the rules on parking and to issue a ticket when one is warranted? I am contrarian when I dont know the facts. The MVtimes prides itself on not posting when they dont think something is a fact–Covid and Climate Change being two items they dont want opinions on. Newspapers should be careful when trying someone in a court of public opinion. In a July 9 article by the Times Kristal gave the public his views on ”equity of the playing field” in how he manages.

    • ENGELMAN, this MV Times “note” is an editorial, an opinion piece. You do know what an opinion is, don’t you?

    • I am no fan of some of the MVTimes editorial decisions but, Jackie is 100% correct. This is an editorial. For once Mr Engelman admit you are wrong. You can do it!

      • Mr Holmes, I know all about editorial journalism and a newspapers opportunity to influence public opinion without necessarily having facts. MVTimes is free to tell us for example that a person is not fit for office and should be voted out. But when an opinion is freighted with assertions which are not established facts, the opinion loses much credibility. If MV Times were to editorialize that Trump should be voted in as President in the 2020 election due to his integrity, articulation, humility and unselfish character you folks would go berserk and would not support the ”opinion” you so defend. Jackie would not tell Keller ”chill out Don its just an opinion piece”

      • Harrison, he can’t admit he’s wrong. He digs his heels in, fudges what he’s wrong about, and attacks me, lol. Happens more often than not. It’s a safe bet that any comment made by ENGELMAN has something false in it, but don’t place that bet with him. When he loses, he pretends he never made the bet!

    • I know that there is a process in Tisbury for a recall and if I remember correctly Robert Sawyer was recalled on `Jan 9th 1996` when he was chairman of the Tisbury`s Finance Committee. I could be wrong but I believe it was the first in Tisbury`s history.
      Info on that process can be easily obtained by Hillary, Tisbury`s town clerk and or by Joanna.
      Somebody just has to pick up the ball and carry it if they truly believe there is just cause.

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