West Tisbury selectmen welcomed a new board member and settled into new roles this week.
Shortly after Richard Knabel was welcomed to his seat following victory over Glenn Hearn in the annual town election last week, Jeffrey S. (Skipper) Manter took the gavel as chairman. “It looks a little different from this side of the table,” Mr. Knabel said, thanking his supporters.
Pledging to be thoughtful and listen, Mr. Knabel said his first priority was to understand the various roles of town boards, committees and advisory committees. He suggested that boards and committees meet with selectmen on a regular schedule. Selectmen agreed to schedule meetings every other week, beginning in September, though the affordable housing committee is slated to meet with selectmen earlier.
“I’d like to understand their mission, what we own for affordable housing and land for affordable housing, that sort of thing. I’ll give you a list of questions to forward to them,” Mr. Knabel told town executive secretary Jennifer Rand.
Selectmen also agreed to look at possibly reviving the town bike path committee and combining it with the paths by the road committee, and to create a study committee for cleaning up the Mill Pond.
“Based on voter reaction, the town hall renovation committee seems to have set the standard for good planning and presentation, so that may be a good model for other projects such as the Mill Pond,” Mr. Knabel said.
At their annual town meeting last week West Tisbury voters agreed to spend $5.2 million to renovate the old town hall. The project has not yet gone out to bid; renovation committee chairman Bea Phear said bids will be advertised within the next few weeks. Construction is set to begin in September.
Mrs. Phear agreed to meet with selectmen for a monthly update.
Ms. Rand will begin meeting with town employees next week to discuss their move during construction. Employees will move to temporary trailers beginning in August.