W.T. voters favor grass field

Edgartown voters support employee housing.

Edgartown voters approved of funding an effort to purchase 167 Main Street. —Collette Jordan

West Tisbury voters made their stance clear that they prefer grass over a synthetic turf field.

In a roughly 6 to 1 tally, voters supported grass in a nonbinding vote during Tuesday’s annual election.

Voters in West Tisbury, Edgartown, and Oak Bluffs went to the polls on Thursday to determine their towns’ leaders and respond to ballot questions. 

Oak Bluffs voters chose to keep Emma Green-Beach on the select board and voted in newcomer K. Mark Leonard. No big shakeups occurred in Edgartown, where the only contested race was for a park commissioner seat. Incumbent R. Andrew Kelley defeated Michael Magaraci, 383 votes to 78. West Tisbury also only had one contested race, which was for a seat on the board of assessors. Incumbent Michael Colaneri received 198 votes, while Patti Roads received 166 votes. 

Over the debate on whether to have a grass or synthetic turf field, the West Tisbury select board decided to bring the issue before voters during the election with two nonbinding questions earlier this year.

While the MVRHS committee had chosen to withdraw applications submitted with the Martha’s Vineyard Commission and a permit with the Oak Bluffs building department to demolish the current field earlier, the West Tisbury poll was seen as a way to gather public input for any future initiatives.

When West Tisbury voters were asked if they preferred an artificial field, 54 voted in favor, while 311 voted against it. The second question, whether voters preferred a grass field, received 309 votes in favor, while 53 voted against it. 

Voters in West Tisbury also approved an override, 310 to 64, to replace the library’s heating and cooling system, a project that experienced an unexpected price spike. Last year, voters approved $1.2 million to replace the system, but the cost estimate had doubled to $2.5 million. Voters also approved a $720,000 general override for the town’s fiscal year 2025 budget, which was approved in a 267–100 vote. 

Meanwhile, Edgartown voters also decided on some spending ballot questions. One was an override to allow Edgartown to assess an additional $1,550,000 in real estate and personal property taxes to purchase 167 Main St., a property the town is eyeing as potential housing for municipal employees. This ballot question passed in a 425–130 vote. The other was an override to fund two sewer force mains connecting the Chase Road pump station and the town’s wastewater treatment facility, which passed in a 490–66 vote.


  1. Hmmm–6 to one against the turf. I guess we now know why
    the turfer’s never wanted this to go to a vote.

  2. I bet the Corgi in the photo voted for natural grass. When your belly is constantly rubbing on the ground, you become an expert on the topic. 94% of Corgis prefer natural turf.

  3. 300 votes in a town that actually has no say in what happens in Oak Bluffs. 300 votes out of what, 10,000 registered voters on the island. I’d say, that isn’t a mandate. The field passed every legal test thrown at it, including an illegal act by an elected official. To me, that says more than 300 votes in a town that has no say in the matter.

      • Don do you have TDS? as you bring his name up all the time. To answer your question Joe Biden was elected in 2020 and is currently playing president to the best of his ability.

      • To use your reasoning: yes, in say Texas, Trump won by a landslide but in the US we count votes from all states. This was a vote taken in one of 6 towns. So no, it wasn’t a landslide. It was 300 people who didn’t get their way legally so they took a, NON BINDING vote, I know you know what that means, it meant nothing. On MV towns don’t get to vote on issues in other towns, if we did, let’s vote to make it mandatory for WT to open Lambert’s Cove beach to all people with no restrictions. I bet if we took a NON BINDING vote on that across the island it’d win in a landslide but it’d also mean NOTHING. Stick to the laws WT, you don’t get a say in this issue.

        • Patrick– I would agree with your assessment of the 2020 election if Texas were the only state voting. But in that election, as you pointed out, ALL the states voted. I might point out that Biden won Mass by a 33 point margin,
          and trump won Texas by a 4 point margin. Also, according to trump, Biden’s 306 EC votes in 2020 amounted to a “massive landslide victory”. But regardless of the national voting issues, W.T tallied a rejection of turf 6 to 1 — non binding it seems, but apparently the school board votes were also non binding in the end, and were a little closer.
          And don’t some West Tisbury residents go to the high school ? I would think that would give them, and any other town the right to have a say in the issue. You might have noticed that one of my main concerns was the injury rate. I think every student and every parent has a right to express themselves when the wellbeing of children is at stake. Others felt strongly about chemical contamination in the water we all drink. I always advocated for an island wide BINDING vote.

        • Polls mean nothing either but if a candidate is up 6 to 1 before an election it’s a safe bet they will win.

  4. As of Feb, 2023 there were 2,733 registered voters in West Tisbury– 1,104 Dems, 122 Republicans, 4 Libertarians, 1,489 unenrolled.

    Math is not my strong suit (and I’m sure I’ll be corrected, so thank you in advance) but when only about 10% of the voting population shows up to put their vote behind their supposed passions, it is factually-challenged to say that a landslide in favor of anything occurred.

    People are as tired of this aleardy beaten to death decision as they are of the usual liberal hypocrisy on any topic– from grass to traffic jams to Trump to rooting for the wrong side in an existential war. 10% voter turnout is TERRIBLE and shows people do not care one way or the other.

    • Jackie– I agree– 10% turnout is terrible. But it was an off year.
      Almost everything was irrelevant. When it comes to real elections
      that matter, the participation rate goes way up. I think people
      do care but they are not going to go to the polls just to waste time.
      I am sure the turnout will be much higher this November.
      But you know, a vote is a vote– and most sane people accept the
      results of that vote. If 84 % of people who actually voted were in favor
      of this or that, it’s a landslide. it’s just conservative hypocrisy to deny it.

  5. It passed by a landslide.
    90% of the voters do not care.
    Both chemicals and weed have their down sides.
    It passed by a landslide.

    Who gets to decide who is Right in an existential war?
    How long until the concept of a Free Palestine is eradicated?

  6. As for the “to Trump” part of the comment: when watching a video clip of Mussolini, he mentions that we should Make America Great. (Check out the PBS documentary about Nazi Town). Is that why there are people who want to Make America Great—Again?

  7. Mary– Mussolini was eventually murdered and his body hung up in the
    town square where people could throw stones at the rotting corpse.

  8. Don, Right Wing personality Alex Stein
    (on the same episode with Lara Trump)
    asked his audience to pledge an oath
    that if Trump loses the election in
    November, to go to government buildings
    in their towns and into Target stores and
    Break Glass. If Trump Supporters do
    that it would nearly coincide with the
    86th anniversary of Crystal Night in



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