Residents of the Leonard Circle neighborhood in Vineyard Haven are lining up and picking sides: They’re either with the rooster or against it.

The itinerant rooster’s name is Rupert. And true to his nature as a rooster, Rupert has a penchant for predawn crowing sessions.

At a Tisbury zoning board of appeals meeting on May 12 residents of the neighborhood called for Rupert to be captured.

This week neighbors appeared before the town selectmen to show their support for Rupert.

“With apologies to Shakespeare, I have come to praise Rupert, not to bury him . . . Rupert is an act of God,” declared Nancy Gardella, a resident of Clark avenue who read an impassioned letter in defense of Rupert at the Tuesday selectmen’s meeting. “No one bought him and brought him to our neighborhood; he is no one’s pet. He showed up approximately three years ago,” Ms. Gardella said. (The full letter is published on the editorial page in today’s Gazette.)

“He came to us as a baby, I don’t know from where . . . he eats from our hands, my kids consider him a pet. He is very sweet. We love him,” wrote Angela Murphy in another letter that was read aloud. And 11-year-old Cheyenne Cormier of Bernard Circle who frequently sees the rooster in her yard, noted one of Rupert’s peculiar traits. “He thinks he’s a turkey,” she said.

Leonard Circle resident Bill Little disputed the contention by neighbors who appeared before the board of appeals that the rooster crows at all hours of the night. “The rooster does not crow at 1:30 in the morning,” Mr. Little said. “He did a long time ago, but evidently his clock’s been getting a little bit better, he starts around four o’clock,” he said. “He doesn’t bother me. Most of the neighbors who are against the rooster aren’t there most of the year. For most of us residents living there it’s not a problem with us.”

Selectman Tristan Israel empathized with the pro-Rupert contingent but recognized the concerns of the other neighbors. “I grew up with chickens, so the sound of a rooster is nice to me, but we live in a democracy,” Mr. Israel said. “What makes this hard is emotionally I’m on your side, guys, but I’ve had people call me up who, emotionally, this rooster has been very distressing to them.”

In the end selectmen directed animal control officer Laurie Clements to capture Rupert, but suggested that one of the concerned residents could take possession of Rupert by filing for a special permit. Selectman Jeffrey Kristal agreed, saying that as a domesticated farm animal, the rooster needs an owner.

“If someone wants to own the rooster, it’s very simple to say, ‘It’s my rooster I’ll go and get a special permit for it,’ ” he said.

Rupert’s status was unknown at press time yesterday.

In other business Tuesday, selectmen voted to change some 43 parking spots on Main street from one to two-hour parking at the recommendation of the Tisbury Business Association.

Nili Goldstein, a member of the business association and a member of the family that owns the Mansion House, urged selectmen to approve the longer parking hours.

“We feel that a number of our customers have come to us and complained that after they leave Bunch of Grapes, go to Rainy Day and then have lunch at Zephrus they come back and they have a ticket on their car that was there for an hour and five minutes,” Ms. Goldstein said, adding: “A number of studies that we’ve looked at have shown that the more time that people spend in town the more likely they are to spend money in town.”

Tisbury firefighter Joe Tierney took issue with Ms. Goldstein’s logic. “I’m concerned that you’re not going to get enough turnover down there,” he said. “I’m thinking business owners are going to get less people in their stores.”

Mr. Israel admitted that the move could backfire but honored the wishes of the business community in voting for the parking change. “I wonder if we’re going to hurt you by doing this,” he said. “I’ll support this based on the activism of the community but I think there’s a risk here.”

Selectmen also voted to approve a Jamaican food truck operated by Peter Simon and Melanie Cunningham from mid-June to Labor Day. The truck, which will sell jerk chicken and other street food, will park near the Capawock Theatre from noon to 5 p.m., move to Veterans Memorial Park from 6 to 9 p.m. and then travel to Nectar’s for late-night business. The business will be called Irie Bites.