The Dukes County charter study commission narrowed a list of seven possible recommendations for the future of county government to four in a straw vote at their regular meeting Thursday.
In a nearly unanimous vote, commissioners eliminated the options of recommending no change to county government, abolishing county government with no replacement and abolishing county government and replacing it with an alternative form of government. The vote was nonbinding, and in the future commissioners may choose to reconsider the options.
Options still on the table include replacing the current county manager form of government with a custom charter, a county executive form of government, or a board chairman form of government. A fourth option would keep the county manager form and recommend improvements. Creating a custom charter would require a special act of the state legislature, something many members of the study group expressed hesitation with on Thursday. The remaining three options would not require a state act unless the group recommended changes beyond what stipulated in state law.
The work of the charter study group will result in a recommendation for voters, by May at the latest. An actual vote will be held in the November 2008 state election.
Most of the charter study group members said they want to further narrow options as quickly as possible.
The next meeting of the study group will be held Nov. 29 at 5 p.m. at the Oak Bluffs senior center.