Err on the side of caution with school committee membership


This letter was sent to the chairman of the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School school committee chair, Robert Lionette.

To the Editor

I am writing to you as a taxpayer, but more importantly as an elected official who has served relatively recently on more than a couple of public bodies.

It is my understanding that Kimberly Kirk, who recently lost reelection to her seat on the Edgartown School Committee, intends to remain on the high school committee as a voting member until the end of May 2023.  I believe that she bases her refusal to resign on language in the MVRHS regional agreement that is ambiguous, at best.

The language states that the town school committee will appoint someone from its membership and further, refers to the “lawful removal” of a member.  Clearly, this could be interpreted in multiple ways, including that she has been removed by the voters of Edgartown. Her successor has been sworn in and Ms. Kirk is no longer an elected school committee member in that town.

It is my strong belief that as a fiduciary, the high school committee and you as chair, are obligated to err on the side of caution in this matter.  Given the important decisions that will be made by your committee in the near future and the clear ambiguity of the language, I believe it is imperative that no decisions be made involving a “member” whose position may be even slightly in question.

I do hope you agree with me.

Doug Ruskin

West Tisbury