Edgartown selectmen declined to add a non-binding referendum to the town meeting ballot that would have asked voters if they want an unspecified percentage of Edgartown Community Preservation Act funds to be earmarked for a regional housing effort.

Selectmen in other towns have also expressed concerns to the proposal from an ad-hoc committee seeking a regional solution to the housing crisis on Martha’s Vineyard.

“The first step is we need a mandate from the community,” said Bob Sawyer, one of the committee members.  “Our attempt is not to seek your endorsement or support. It is to give an opportunity for all of the towns to voice how strongly they feel. It is a crisis of magnificent proportions. It is seriously affecting and will continue to affect our way of life here.”

While selectman Michael Donaroma was not in attendance, selectman Art Smadbeck and chairman Margaret Serpa expressed strong opposition to the concept.

“CPA funding, in Edgartown tax dollars, is pretty much spoken for,” said Mr. Smadbeck. “This type of big push needs a new funding source. I’d rather see us work toward a new funding source rather than rob Peter to pay Paul.”

Mr. Smadbeck said he asked the referendum backers to remove the language asking for CPA funding, but they rejected that idea.

Mr. Smadbeck, for the purposes of discussion, made a motion to add the question to the town meeting warrant, but there was no vote by the board.

The ad-hoc committee is asking all six towns to add an identical referendum question to annual town meeting warrants. Chilmark selectmen tabled the discussion until a later date, and Tisbury and West Tisbury agreed to add the referendum to the ballot if the reference to using CPA funding was omitted.