West Tisbury town accountant Bruce Stone will be retiring from his position at the beginning of next summer.
The West Tisbury Select Board unanimously accepted his retirement, and expressed their appreciation for his service to the town during a meeting on Wednesday.
“These 20 years have provided me with the most rewarding work of my professional career,” Stone wrote in his letter to the town. “I have been extremely fortunate to have served with select boards, town employees, committees, and town citizens who have displayed respect and dignity as they performed their duties, always with the best interests of West Tisbury and the Island-wide community in mind.”
Stone said that he would be happy to help transition the next person to the position before he officially steps down on June 3.
In other West Tisbury news, the board wanted more details on the benefits of a regional grant before giving its support.
According to a letter from Katy Acheson, economic development director of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, the focal point for applying for the Regional Economic Development Organization (REDO) grant is to develop workforce growth.
“Areas of attention include the need for access to quality early childhood education and care, reasonable, existing, and affordable diverse housing, and workforce training, especially as it applies to training existing workers and under- or unemployed residents,” Acheson wrote.
But West Tisbury select board members questioned how the grant would benefit the Vineyard, as opposed to the Cape and Plymouth.
Town administrator Jennifer Rand said the town had sent a letter of support last year as well, but made a point that the program description doesn’t really show how it benefits West Tisbury. She said it seems to be more Cape-based.
“There doesn’t seem to be a way to articulate the direct benefit to West Tisbury,” Rand said. “I think it’s probably a very good program.”
“The islands haven’t even been mentioned in any of their titles or letters, or in anyplace,” board member Skipper Manter said.
Rand said usually the Island is lumped in for these grant programs, although this one does seem to be focused more on the Cape and Plymouth. “I also hope that they are doing their best to involve the Island where they can, through the Island Chamber of Commerce or through the Island housing folks,” Rand said.
Board chair Cynthia Mitchell agreed that more information was needed on how the grant program benefits Martha’s Vineyard. “I think we should support it, but I also think we should push a little bit to at least … get some updates as to what could be of benefit to us,” she said.
Rand said it doesn’t seem West Tisbury has directly benefited from the program in the past year. She added it doesn’t seem unreasonable to ask for more information regarding the benefits to the Island.
The board unanimously approved endorsing the grant application, alongside sending a request for additional information.