The Oak Bluffs selectmen Tuesday sketched a broad set of goals for the coming year ranging from civic pride to better communication between town officials and residents.
Town administrator Robert Whritenour distributed copies of the board’s strategic plan for 2013, which has 11 areas of focus, including developing, improving and protecting natural resources, affordable housing, improving communications with local residents, cultural development, stabilizing and improving financial condition, parking and transportation management and creating revenue opportunities.
Mr. Whritenour said he would work with department heads to develop timetables and specific scheduling.
“This really grounds, I think, all the staff in the town,” he said, adding that people looked forward to seeing the plan and look to the selectmen to set priorities.
Projects listed were ranked from priority one through three. Priority one projects include promoting the development of rental units, website development and updating and development of a town newsletter or regular newspaper column, creating free cash reserves, training employees in conflict resolution and customer service, locating areas for off-site parking and a park-and-ride program, facilitating the construction of the roundabout at the blinker intersection for traffic safety, exploring a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes program for tax-exempt properties, and exploring renewable energy and conservation initiatives.
One area of focus has just one project listed: increase civic pride, with Remember “Proud to Be From OB” listed as priority level one.
Mr. Whritenour said two items listed as priority one projects are already underway. The first phase of the installation of a fuel-dispensing system on town property at the harbor has started, he said, with $17,033 in waterways funds going toward site investigation and design. Additional money will be sought at a fall town meeting, the town administrator said in his report, with the goal of providing fuel at the harbor during the next boating season.
The town also has accepted a $22,600 proposal for engineering services and cost estimates for a stabilization project at the East Chop bluff. The funding comes from the Community Preservation Act.
In other business, police chief Erik Blake reported few arrests and few problems stemming from the crowds that came to Oak Bluffs for Illumination Night and the fireworks show earlier this month.
The selectmen approved opening Sengekontacket Pond to scalloping on Oct. 13 for recreational permit holders and Oct. 22 for commercial permit holders, with the Lagoon Pond opened for recreational scalloping on Oct. 27 and commercial scalloping on Oct. 29.
After a brief discussion about the wisdom of revisiting the issue of live music outdoors, the selectmen approved a one-day entertainment license for the Sand Bar and Grille’s Full Moon Party, which will feature live music on Friday, August 31 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
In response to a question from a resident, selectmen said that they did not hold a summer taxpayers this year, but agreed that they would resume the meetings next year.