Manter to retire from West Tisbury Police

Select board to send Holtec letter; town meetings to start at 6 pm from now on. 

West Tisbury Lt. Jeffrey "Skipper" Manter, shown here after his promotion to the lieutenant rank in 2018, will be retiring by the end of July. — Courtesy West Tisbury PD

West Tisbury Police Lt. Jeffrey (“Skipper”) Manter, who is also a select board member, is retiring from the West Tisbury Police Department by July 31, the select board was informed through a letter from Police Chief Matt Mincone.

According to the letter, a departmental restructuring is underway with Manter’s future retirement. Four applicants applied for the lieutenant position. The application process included a written test and an interview with a panel consisting of Edgartown Police Chief Bruce McNamee, Bridgewater Police Chief Christopher Delmonte, and Middletown Police Chief William Kewer from Rhode Island. West Tisbury Sgt. Matthew Gebo was recommended for the job, and Mincone suggested Gebo take over as lieutenant on August 1. 

Gebo’s promotion means a sergeant position will now be available. Mincone’s letter stated that four officers from the department will be eligible for promotion once the position is officially announced, which will mirror the lieutenant application process. Additionally, two new patrol officers will be hired. One is to fill a vacancy, while the other is a full-time officer for Martha’s Vineyard Airport. 

Manter said he may provide more details after the promotional processes are set. Manter told The Times police are required to retire by end of their birth month when they reach the age of 65 in Massachusetts. 

“Technically, I can leave at any time between now and then,” Manter said. “I always say my next bad day at work will be my last day at work, and I haven’t had a bad day yet, so the odds are against me.” 

Upon retiring, Manter will have served in the department for 47 years. 

West Tisbury town administrator Jennifer Rand will need to discuss with Mincone the next steps regarding the promotions. 

In other business, the board unanimously voted to sign and send a letter to the state legislature urging the prohibition of Holtec’s plans to dump radioactive water into Cape Cod Bay. The letter cites Cape Cod Bay as the habitat for the endangered North Atlantic right whale, and “an important economic engine for the state for fishing and tourism.”

“There is no safe level of radiation, and the released elements will be found up the food chain, from sediment up to the fish we eat,” select board chair Cynthia Mitchell read from the letter.

West Tisbury voters overwhelmingly opposed Holtec’s plans, 816-29 in a nonbinding referendum during the town election earlier this month. The letter will also go to the offices of both Gov. Charlie Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey.

The board unanimously approved changing the start time of special and annual town meetings to 6 pm. This is based on the positive feedback the board received from voters and West Tisbury town moderator Dan Waters about the earlier start time. Traditionally, the meetings have started at 7 pm.

The board unanimously voted to sign a lease for 57 Rustling Oaks Road, an affordable housing unit Island Housing Trust put up for sale in October

The board unanimously approved Rand’s request to go to the town’s finance committee to ask for a reserve fund transfer of around $8,000 for the legal line in the budget — $45,000 is the base amount given per year. Mitchell asked Rand what contributed to the line item being over budget.

“Everything. It’s been a weird year. There’s been a lot of random stuff,” Rand said, listing issues relating to personnel, COVID, and animal control, among others, as examples. “It just goes on and on and on. It’s just been this very weird year of a lot of need for legal help.” 

The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank is planning to present a draft management plan for James Pond to the board on May 11 at 5 pm.