Responding to criticism about the police department at the annual town meeting this year, Oak Bluffs police chief Erik Blake this week announced a series of initiatives aimed at improving community relations with citizens.

More summertime bike patrols, a monthly “coffee with the chief” session, and public feedback on designs for new cruisers are all part of the plan, the chief told the selectmen at their meeting Tuesday.

“You don’t tell people what you want, you listen and they tell you,” he said.

At the town meeting on April 12, a number of peppery citizen questions popped up during discussion on spending articles for the police department. Several town meeting speakers criticized what they termed the “stealth” design of the police cruisers, lack of engagement with town residents, as well as military style uniforms and equipment.

Chief Blake said the first coffee-with-the-chief session will be held on May 20. He called the new initiative an outward demonstration of his commitment to community policing. “Most of the police officers are from this community. If they’re not from here they have children in the schools and buy houses here. We are invested in this community,” he said.

In other post-town meeting business, Alison Shaw offered more information on an initiative to replace lighting along Sea View avenue. The street lights along the waterfront are newer style globe lanterns. Voters approved $147,900 to replace them with historically accurate older style globe lanterns, on lower poles with more accurate cast iron detail.

Alison Shaw discusses historical streetscape plan for Sea View avenue with selectmen. — Steve Myrick

Ms. Shaw, who serves on both the Oak Bluffs Historical Commission and the community preservation committee, offered pictures of both styles.

By consensus, selectmen agreed to meet with Ms. Shaw and highway department superintendent Richard Combra Jr. to work out details before the project is put out to bid.

A rule change for recreational scallopers was rejected by the selectmen. The regulations now allow family scallopers to take a heaping bushel of scallops per week. The shellfish committee had recommended allowing only level, struck bushels. Many recreational scallopers attended the meeting to voice their opposition.

“We should leave it the way it is,” said Ken DeBettencourt.

The argument appeared to be less about measurement and more about dividing up a scarce resource.

“It’s trying to make the resource go around a little longer, because it’s limited . . . . making the resource last longer for everybody,” said Fred Huss, a member of the shellfish committee.

The board voted unanimously to keep the current rules.

Selectmen also agreed to convene a working session with the planning board and the affordable housing committee to discuss the town’s policy on housing.

The housing committee recently voted to explore a 32-bedroom rental development on town-owned land along Bellevue avenue.

“It’s hard to live in this community and not be affected by the crisis in housing,” said planning board chairman Brian Packish. “The single family model isn’t going to begin to help our community. We’re discussing concepts and we’re going to talk about affordable housing in our community in a very different way. We’ve got plans on top of plans on top of plans and none of them are housing our people.”

Selectmen also:

• Granted a one-day beer and wine license for a July 1 fundraising event at the Oak Bluffs Library.

• Granted a license for Home Grown Tours to operate a 17-passenger van that includes accommodations for up to three visitors using wheelchairs.

• Approved a business license for a year-round wholesale and retail fish market at 6 Circuit avenue extension.

• Elected a new chairman. Gail Barmakian will lead the board for the next year. Walter Vail was elected vice-chairman.

Mr. Vail ended the session with an appeal for volunteers for the annual clean up of the town’s beaches and parks on Saturday. The Islandwide event is sponsored by the Vineyard Conservation Society.

“There are 23 beaches out there that need to be cleaned up,” Mr. Vail said. “You can pick up orange trash bags at the highway department. You can take a bag full of rubbish to the dump for free.”