Land Bank approves regional spending policy

The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank commission passed a regional spending policy. — courtesy Land Bank

The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank commission unanimously approved a regional spending policy, with a few amendments, during a Monday afternoon meeting. The commission had an initial reading and approval of the draft policy in July, but had sent it to the “three down-Island towns advisory boards for their input,” according to Land Bank executive director James Lengyel. The draft policy is a way to make a more structured allocation of funds for regional land acquisition efforts, rather than having an “episodic” process of gathering money.

Lengyel provided a summary of the boards’ votes before doing a second reading of the amended draft policy. Oak Bluffs’ advisory board recommended the adoption of the policy, although board member Phil Cordella voted against this recommendation because he thought more information was needed. The Edgartown advisory board recommended adopting the draft policy. The Tisbury advisory board recommended the commission adopt the policy, although it wanted a review of whether “any components” of the draft policy could be made more clear. 

“I went back over the entire document,” Lengyel said. “In my opinion, commissioners, I thought that it was adequately clear.”

There were a couple of minor language amendments recommended by commission vice chair Wesley Mott and the Oak Bluffs advisory board. 

Cordella later told The Times that he had questioned the need for the policy as there was already regional cooperation for Land Bank property acquisitions. He said there were “crickets” when he asked the question during the Oak Bluffs advisory board meeting.