The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School building committee is likely to be unwieldy with 25 members.
While we understand the reasoning behind the committee size, we worry that it’s going to become difficult for the committee to come to consensus and do the work that needs to be done. But we never want to discourage people from volunteering and we’re quite pleased that there are that many people who want to roll up their sleeves and help guide what will be an important project in the next three to five years.
Let’s hope the building committee finds a way to utilize all that talent by forming subcommittees and perhaps consider having an executive committee that can make important decisions for the project quickly and efficiently.
While we’re on the subject of committees, it’s important that anyone who does serve does so with a high level of transparency. We use the discussion of shared use of a leased dock in Menemsha that went before the Aquinnah select board. The Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group wants to share Vern Welch’s leased area to raise shellfish seed.
Aquinnah select board chair Juli Vanderhoop voted to support the arrangement, but did not disclose she is on the board of directors for the shellfish group. There may be no conflict of interest involved, but by not disclosing her relationship, there is an appearance that there is something to hide. That should be avoided whenever possible.
In Tisbury, Geoghan Coogan was appointed to the high school building committee by the select board. Select board member Roy Cutrer’s wife is a secretary for Coogan, which was not disclosed before Cutrer voted.
We appreciate the work Vanderhoop, Cutrer, and Coogan do by volunteering to serve. But we will always push for transparency.
We were stunned that when Question 5 was approved in Tisbury last week that town administrator Jay Grande didn’t know the process of how it would be implemented. Reached the day after the vote, Grande said he suspected it would require a public hearing and then a vote of the select board.
That’s absurd, if true.
This new regulation that would allow customers to purchase an alcoholic beverage without also having to purchase food has already been approved by the select board in 2020, went to town meeting that year and was approved. It then went to the state legislature as a home-rule petition, where it was approved by the House, the Senate, and signed into law by the governor. Finally, it was sent back to the town where it received overwhelming support from registered voters in the Nov. 8 election.
Enough is enough.
Beyond that, the town administrator should have known the next steps BEFORE Tuesday’s vote.
We couldn’t even shame the town of Tisbury or Massachusetts Department of Transportation into action. Last week we reported on the Beach Road bike lanes and how they’ve been filled with sand for weeks — and still are as of this writing.
The town typically sweeps the road, but won’t do it during construction. MassDOT says the contractor for the project is only responsible for removing debris caused by the construction. Meanwhile, on an Island where we try to encourage people not to use vehicles, we have what’s been described by cyclists as a “treacherous” situation. Are we really going to wait for a serious bike accident to remedy this?
Congratulations to the AP Spanish students at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School who received a letter from College Board executives congratulating them for their assistance with the Venezuelan migrants who were brought to the Island as part of a political stunt by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
It was inspiring that these teens jumped into action using their education to assist in this humanitarian crisis. They were able to provide comfort in a very difficult time for the migrants.
There is one disheartening thing about this otherwise heartwarming story. When we asked for the names of the student volunteers shortly after the ordeal, MVRHS principal Sara Dingledy declined to release them. Not because she wasn’t proud of their accomplishments, but because she feared, given the political climate, the students might be targeted by the supporters of DeSantis, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
It’s unfortunate that we can’t applaud them by name, but they know who they are and we appreciate what they did.