In sharp contrast to the previous night’s special town meeting, Tisbury breezed through Wednesday’s annual town meeting, approving all 38 articles, including the $20.45 million budget, in little more than two hours.

Only a handful of the warrant articles aroused any discussion at all, and among those the only significant disagreement was a reprise of the previous night’s debate about measures to deal with the unfunded entitlements of town employees.

It was 7:10 p.m. when moderator Deborah Medders announced that enough people had braved the foul weather to comprise a quorum, and the meeting proceeded to rocket through the first eight items in just 13 minutes.

Then it hit the snag which goes by the acronym OPEB, on which it became stuck for a quarter-hour.

OPEB stands for Other Post Employment Benefits, and it refers to those benefits other than pensions which are owed to retiring town employees. Tisbury’s current unfunded liability is estimated at $13 million, and it continues to grow in line with the increase in health care costs.

For several years, the town finance committee has been attempting, unsuccessfully, to get the town to do something to address the liability.

In 2009 there was an article seeking $1.566 million, which is what they calculated it would take to amortize in the runaway cost. That would have raised average property taxes by several hundred dollars; it did not get through town meeting, much less onto the ballot paper.

This year the finance committee was much less ambitious; it proposed setting aside just $100,000.

The measure would still require a Proposition 2 1/2 override, meaning an increase in property taxes, but of a vastly smaller scale. And for the first time, the finance committee had some success.

At Tuesday night’s special town meeting, after much debate, voters passed two articles which promised to do something about the OPEB problem. One dealt with the funding of future employees, the other got in principle agreement to setting aside at least $100,000 every year, to begin making some small dent in the accrued liability.

Wednesday night’s meeting was the first test of that in-principle agreement. It sought approval to actually put a question on the ballot on election day, April 26, to raise and appropriate the money.

Resistance to the article was led by selectman Tristan Israel, who said it was simply unaffordable in the current economy.

Against him were several members of the finance committee, whose argument was that the longer the town put off dealing with the huge unfunded liability, the more expensive it would become.

Jon Snyder, one of the prime movers of the finance committee’s efforts to get something done, said inaction simply resulted in “pushing the cost of our current employees off on to our children.

When the vote was called, the article was approved.

The other contentious issue of the evening was not local but national. Article 33 called on townspeople to direct the President, Senators and Congressional representatives to end military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, withdraw the troops there, and cut military spending by 25 per cent.

The Rev. Alden Besse spoke strongly for the motion.

Not only were America’s current military actions not achieving peace abroad, they weakened our society, undermined national security and threatened to bankrupt the nation, he said.

Massachusetts residents were paying an average $3,200 per year, per person to fund the wars, while health, education, infrastructure and other essential domestic programs were being “substantially underfunded.”

As a result of the wars, “grave and unnecessary harm has befallen thousands of American soldiers and millions of people in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan,” Reverend Besse said.

“This harm must not continue. I urge you to vote yes.”

No one stood to disagree outright with what he said, but several speakers questioned whether 100-odd people at town meeting should take it upon themselves to speak on behalf of 3,000 Tisbury residents.

The article came to a standing vote, and passed 68-43.

Beyond that there was only minor debate, over whether the harbor master should get funds for a new dormer window and deck at his office, and some questions about the need for new town equipment.

There also was a relatively long justification of a pay increase for an EMT who has qualified as a paramedic, to which Mr. Israel objected. But when the vote was taken, it appeared he was the only person who did.

Otherwise, the articles were approved at a rate of better than one a minute. By 9:17 p.m., it was all over for another year.