Aquinnah, Widdisses working towards understanding

Town officials in Aquinnah are working with the Widdiss family, after members said they should have been more involved in a dedication to a fellow family member.

Aquinnah town officials are working with Widdiss family members to address the family’s concerns over insufficient invitations and planning for the public dedication ceremony of a housing development.

Earlier this week, the Widdiss family issued a Letter to the Editor in which they say they were not directly invited to the groundbreaking of the Carl Widdiss Way Apartments, in which late housing advocate Carl Widdiss was honored.

The letter in particular mentioned the family’s insufficient prior involvement in the planning, designing and permissions behind using Carl Widdiss’s name in the Carl Widdiss Way sign. 

The town held a ceremony for starting construction on four apartments in Aquinnah last week.

Town officials say they have apologized to Don Widdiss, the brother of Carl Widdiss, about personalized invitations not being sent to the Widdiss family directly. Invitations were sent to Aquinnah residents, as part of the town’s standard public announcement mailing list.

Town officials say they are in discussions with the Widdiss family about the sign, which would mark an easement leading to the apartments and is not an official town road.

Don Widdiss, the brother of Carl Widdiss, says that he acknowledges the good ideas and good intentions behind the town’s actions, and that he is in contact with the town toward resolving the matters.

According to Don, the town reached out to him a month before the groundbreaking, and he was in support of naming the road for Carl Widdiss. However, he assumed that after the conversation, the town would follow up with him to plan further.

The conversation came after the Aquinnah housing committee voted to name the easement after Carl Widdiss, as well as to hold the groundbreaking. The conversation was intended to inform Don Widdiss and gauge the appropriateness of the plans before further action.