Losing their way


To the Editor:

I am writing in response to an article which appeared in the Vineyard Gazette on May 2, 2022, under the somewhat misleading heading of “Lawsuit Seeks to Block OSV Use at Cape Poge.”

As a lifelong summer resident of Cape Poge for over 70 years, I consider myself and my family to be good stewards of the land, the beaches, and the variety of wildlife it supports. Over the years, I have both chaired and served on many of the Trustees of Reservations (TTOR) committees, and believe I can speak knowingly to many of the issues currently challenging the TTOR organization with some knowledge and perspective. 

When considering these issues confronting the TTOR and their impact on Chappaquiddick and Cape Poge, I can assure you that there is much more than meets the eye.

My many concerns regarding the TTOR can be summarized to include the:

  • Continued and increasing emphasis by TTOR on its commercialization and promotion of sticker sales, to the detriment of its neighbors, and contrary to the TTOR stated mission.
  • Lack of proper management by the TTOR of its properties here on the Island, evidenced by the lack of a beach management plan, excessive turnover of its overworked staff, and the lack of educating and monitoring its stickerholders regarding basic issues like lowering tire pressure to avoid getting stuck in our soft sand.
  • The loss of any substantive communication between the TTOR and its abutting Cape Poge homeowners. Back in the day, over 10 years ago, there existed an excellent relationship between Chappaquiddick residents and TTOR. We communicated, discussed, and shared our thoughts openly, and held meetings together three to four times each year. There was transparency. The result of this then-collaborative effort was not only the sense of accomplishment achieved by solving the then-current challenges (and there were many), but also the friendship and trust which resulted between TTOR and ourselves from these efforts. Despite extensive efforts by many of the Cape Poge residents who have reached out to TTOR for the past 10 years, this relationship sadly no longer exists. And when such effective communication lapses and is replaced by callous indifference and seeming arrogance, the sad result often becomes a legal one.

The local Trustees slogan is “find your place.” I believe the Trustees have “lost their way.”


Edward B. Self Jr.