The Island political season came to an end Tuesday with a three-hour annual town meeting in Aquinnah, where confusion over budget line items and missing warrant articles made for a messy evening.

A total of 71 voters took seats in the old town hall on a cool, foggy evening. Moderator Mike Hebert called the meeting to order at 7:15 p.m. There were 35 articles on the warrant and most of them drew debate in one form or another.

Fire chief Simon Bollin and police chief Randhi Belain. — Albert O. Fischer

The meeting began with a moment of silence for slain Yarmouth police Sgt. Sean Gannon.

An adjusted $5 million annual town budget eventually was approved but first there was debate and confusion.

During a reading of budget line items, it came to light that only $1,500 had been allocated for county community programs, with no funding allocated for ACE MV, the Center for Living and the Vineyard Health Care Access program.

Mr. Hebert said selectmen had proposed an amendment before the meeting to allocate $3,500 to ACE MV. Town administrator Jeffrey Madison said ACE MV executive director Sam Hart had filed a request for a warrant article back in October, but it was overlooked during the budget process.

“It was totally my oversight that I didn’t pick up on Sam’s request for a warrant article,” Mr. Madison said.

Moderator Mike Hebert, town counsel Ronald H. Rappaport, town administrator Jeffrey Madison, and the board of selectmen. — Albert O. Fischer

The ACE MV amendment passed, but county manager Martina Thornton asked why other requests for funding were also missing.

“We were under the impression we would be part of the budget,” Ms. Thornton said. “It was very surprising to come here this evening and find that the funding is not in there.”

Aquinnah’s share of funding for the other two programs included $17,000 for the Center for Living and $10,500 for health care access. All other Island towns have approved the funding requests.

“It appears as though they don’t exist,” said town accountant Emily Day.

Voters approved amendments to add the two funding requests to the budget, bringing the total community programs budget to $29,000.

Adriana Ignacio and Berta Welch. — Albert O. Fischer

Confusion continued when up-Island regional school district committee member Theresa Manning said two warrant articles requested by the school superintendent’s office were also missing.

The articles would have requested $33,000 for upgrades to the Chilmark school’s HVAC system and $1,500 for fire alarm upgrades. West Tisbury and Chilmark approved their shares of the HVAC expenses at their town meetings.

Mr. Hebert said the requests were for facilities, not education, and it was too late in the process to submit them now. Ms. Manning said they were submitted before the meeting and the deadline for filing articles.

Mr. Madison, who is responsible for preparing the budget and town warrant, responded. “I have at least five different budgets that were started and submitted for consideration by the town,” he said. “Everything that I was asked for by the superintendent’s office was included in this budget. We never got a notice of a request for an article like this.”

The two items will now need to be taken up at a future special town meeting.

Police officer David Murphy. — Albert O. Fischer

In other business, voters approved $200,000 to offset the town’s growing share of educational expenses of the up-Island regional school district.

A controversial ballot question to change the board of assessors from an elected to appointed board came up early on during town board reports. Marsha Shufrin, a member of the board of assessors, urged voters to reject the question at the Wednesday election.

But the following day voters approved the change in the ballot box.

A request from the assessors for $15,000 to pay for new appraisal software and an archival computer was defeated 32-12. Assessors said the upgrade is necessary because the current system will become obsolete this year.

“We’re not computer experts, but we asked repeatedly if this is software or hardware and what an archival computer was,” finance committee chairman Allen Rugg told the meeting. “We were not persuaded that it was necessary and that there was a unique type of computing required by assessors.”

Jeffrey Madison. — Albert O. Fischer

A request for $100,000 to go into a stabilization fund to help pay for town building maintenance and construction passed 46 to 16. Former town accountant Marjorie Spitz asked why the funds were being saved and not used to fund the growing town operating budget.

“We feel it’s very important to have money in reserve,” said selectman Jim Newman.

“We’re in desperate need of space to house people that work for the town,” added Mr. Madison. “People are literally working out of a closet.”

Voters approved a request join a home-rule petition effort that would allow the town to regulate the use of herbicides. Tisbury and West Tisbury approved similar measures at their town meetings this year.

A lengthy set of amendments to the town personnel bylaw drew heated debate. Proposed changes include widening the scope of employee benefits to include all employees and allowing selectmen to delegate more responsibilities to the town administrator.

There was concern was over whether the changes grant more power to selectmen and the town administrator and dimnish the power of town boards.

Kathy Newman, a member of the personnel committee, said the changes were just meant to clarify and fine tune bylaws so that all employees in town hall would be working under the same rules.

Assessors and members of the board of health fought back, claiming they were not informed about the pending changes.

State Rep. Dylan Fernandes dropped by. — Albert O. Fischer

“I haven’t seen this posted for months,” said Ms. LeBovit. “It’s turning the town administrator into a CEO. I think it needs more discussion.”

“We would like our employees to answer to us, not the selectmen or town administrator,” added board of health chairman Sarah Saltonstall.

Voters approved the article after defeating a request to postpone it.

Five articles requesting a total of $8,600 for other county social services programs passed quickly with no discussion.

Aquinnah joined with the other five Island towns in declining a request for funds for the Dukes County Regional Emergency Communications Center.

Voters approved a request of $10,000 to pay for emergency personnel to man a warming shelter during future storms.

Also rejected after lengthy debate was a request for $2,500 to repair the stone pillar at the entrance to the town cemetery that was knocked down three years ago.

The meeting adjourned just before 10:30 p.m.