Oak Bluffs, West Tisbury considering special town meetings

An Oak Bluffs special town meeting will be held at the Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, November 7, at 7 pm. —MV Times

Oak Bluffs and West Tisbury are looking toward holding special town meetings this fall. 

The Oak Bluffs Select Board unanimously approved during a recent meeting holding a special town meeting. It will be held at the Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, Nov. 7, at 7 pm. Details on what voters will be considering are not available yet. Oak Bluffs assistant town administrator Wendy Brough said a final draft of the warrant articles will be presented to the select board during a Tuesday, Sept. 26, meeting. When asked about the draft version, select board assistant Patty Culkins said the town will reach out to The Times when it is ready. 

West Tisbury has not solidified yet when a special town meeting will be taking place, but plans are in the works. 

“The whole thought process behind the town meeting for the fall, originally, was the Howes House, but it won’t happen,” West Tisbury town administrator Jennifer Rand said during a recent West Tisbury Select Board meeting. Discussions regarding Howes House were put in a holding pattern after a couple of Up-Island Council on Aging members were found to have served longer than two consecutive terms, which goes against the council’s bylaws. 

Rand said there will be “housekeeping” warrant articles for the special town meeting, such as funding for legal expenses. Issues that could be taken up as warrant articles during the special town meeting include affordable dwelling units and zoning bylaws. 

Another consideration, according to Rand, was that a special town meeting would need to take place before a tax rate hearing, which West Tisbury assessors are aiming to do in November. There is the option to push the hearing back to December, although Rand expressed some reluctance about it being so late in the year. 

West Tisbury officials will continue the discussion during the Wednesday, Sept. 20, select board meeting.