Sparks flew between the Aquinnah selectmen and the town assessors Tuesday when the two boards met to take up an appointment and other matters.

The town voted in May to change the assessors from an elected to an appointed board. At the selectmen’s meeting Tuesday newly-elected assessor Marsha Shufrin read a statement outlining her frustration with the change.

“I strongly believe that the move from election to appointment is a result of festering mistrust and anger toward the board of assessors,” Ms. Shufrin said. “The appointment of assessors in our small town distorts the balance of power.”

She expressed further annoyance that she now is required to request a formal appointment from selectmen, even though she was already elected as an assessor.

Town administrator Jeffrey Madison explained that the vote nullified Ms. Shufrin’s election, so an appointment was still necessary.

Selectman Jim Newman said he agreed with Ms. Shufrin on principle, but noted that internal problems led to the need for a change.

“I think there’s been a lack of oversight,” Mr. Newman said. “People have to understand just what the job description is and what’s being done outside the job description.”

Mr. Newman then chided assessors over a recent call by assistant assessor Angela Cywinski to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue claiming procedural errors on the annual town meeting town warrant. He said it was outside the job responsibilities of the assistant assessor (a paid staff position) to make such a call, and noted that warrant articles are vetted by town counsel Ronald H. Rappaport.

Assessor Elise LeBovit responded that her board had directed Ms. Cywinski to contact the DOR, and said there have been times when selectmen have operated outside their jurisdiction.

“Our biggest problem is that you don’t back us up. Whenever we do have a meeting, it’s always to admonish us,” she said.

Selectmen unanimously voted to approve the appointment of Ms. Shufrin to the board of assessors, but the discussion grew more heated. Mr. Madison became visibly agitated as he criticized assessors, particularly Ms. Cywinski, for straying outside the bounds of their authority.

“It is not the business of the board of assessors to contest or make inquiries in the way that it was done,” Mr. Madisson said. He continued: “I think that it’s important for the board of assessors to do their job of evaluating property and issuing tax bills and leave their job at that. To me it demonstrates that there is a lack of things for the assistant assessor to do and she is sitting in her room and dreaming up ways to . . .”

Ms. Cywinski interrupted, saying: “You have gone too far.”

At that point selectman and board chairman Gary Haley shut down the discussion. Ms. Cywinski abruptly left the meeting.

In other business, selectmen discussed ongoing parking disputes between leaseholders on Boathouse Road in Menemsha.

Parking on the narrow road has been an issue for years because of a town line that splits the road into Aquinnah and Chilmark portions. In a joint meeting last fall, Aquinnah and Chilmark selectmen agreed to resolve complaints by granting each leaseholder one parking space placard.

Mr. Madison said the agreement hasn’t gone smoothly since.

“Evidently some Chilmark leaseholders objected to the parking solution that the joint selectmen meeting adopted, so they pulled out of the agreement,” he said. “Parking down there is now open to anyone who wants to park there.”

Selectmen discussed possibly holding another joint meeting with Chilmark selectmen to iron out issues, but decided to hold off for now.

The Rev. Dr. Leo D. Christian of the Gay Head Community Baptist Church told selectmen that the church-owned parsonage and Church Road is being asked to pay property taxes even though churches are generally tax-exempt organizations.

“This is unique. This isn’t happening anywhere else in the country,” he said.

According to town property records, the church parcel is valued at $345,200 and assessed for $1,850 a year in property taxes.

Selectmen agreed to meet with assessors about the issue.