West Tisbury remembers Kent Healy

West Tisbury select board member Kent Healy, shown here during an election win, was remembered with a moment of silence Wednesday. — Rich Saltzberg

A moment of silence and remembrance was held during Wednesday’s West Tisbury select board meeting in honor of the late select board member Kent Healy, who passed away Sunday morning. It was the board’s first meeting since Healy’s death.

“That’s a loss. A terrible, tragic loss of Kent Healy,” select board chair Skipper Manter said. “A member of this board, an outstanding member of the community in many aspects that we don’t have time to go on. His service went way beyond town borders and across the Island. The kind-hearted gentleman, the caring individual he was. No complex challenge he couldn’t figure out with a pencil and a piece of paper. He’s done numerous things for many individuals … Kent was energetic, problem-solving, always a smile on his face.” 

Manter said Healy was a friend of his father. He added that Healy was someone who always tried to support boards or committees that needed his help. Healy was also a proponent of affordable housing on the Island. 

“His heart was huge, and he always charged on,” Manter said. “A terrible loss for this town. He’s with Maureen [Healy’s wife, who passed away in May] again, and I think that was the end goal all along. Let’s hope they’re happy together.” 

Beatrice Phear, a West Tisbury planning board member, asked what the process will be to find a replacement for Healy. Manter said there has been no discussion so far, and the options and processes will be discussed in a future meeting. Healy was in the second year of a three-year term.

In other business, the select board unanimously approved a provision to reduce the quorum for the upcoming special town meeting to 30 people. This was done because of lingering concerns about COVID. The special town meeting will be held at West Tisbury School on Tuesday, Nov. 16, at 7 pm. 

Meanwhile, the West Tisbury planning board requested access to counsel because of access to a special way, which acts as a summer entrance to the Trustees of Reservations’ beach parking lots. Manter said there is concern over the continuing and increased traffic on the special way, and the planning board would like to ask counsel what authority they have to deal with the issue. The select board unanimously approved the request. 

Next week’s select board meeting will be held on Monday, Nov. 8, instead of the usual Wednesday meeting time. A potential 4 pm executive session is planned for the select board, and the regular meeting will be held at 4:30 pm via Zoom. 


  1. Mr Healy did some engineering work on my home. He would not take a penny from me. I even tried to buy him a loaf of bread at the Black Dog Bakery which he refused to let me pay.
    Great man and a class act.

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