The Oak Bluffs special town meeting scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 14 has been postponed due to a recent spike in Covid-19 cases on the Island, Oak Bluffs town administrator Robert Whritenour confirmed Monday.

In an email sent to the Gazette on Monday, Mr. Whritenour said that a date for the rescheduled town meeting has not been set, although it would likely not happen until 2021.

"As a result of the recent uptick in cases on the Island, and throughout the commonwealth as well, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the special town meeting scheduled for Saturday," Mr. Whritenour wrote. “It is likely that we will hold off until early spring to try to reschedule."

After mulling whether to cancel the meeting last week, the Martha's Vineyard Hospital reported 20 new coronavirus cases this weekend, prompting the decision.

Mr. Whritenour said town moderator Jack Law 3rd and the Oak Bluffs board of health worked together to make the decision.

After the onset of the pandemic in March, all six Island towns had to postpone their annual town meetings — normally held in April — until late June or July, rescheduling them outdoors with strict social distancing rules in place. The towns whittled down their warrants to the bare minimum, focusing on needed budget expenditures, but generally postponing capital improvements and other less time-sensitive spending measures until the fall. 

Saturday's warrant in Oak Bluffs included asking voters whether to designate the town as a green community and an approximately $500,000 article to fund a park-and-ride on town-owned land off County Road. 

Speaking to the Gazette by phone on Monday, Mr. Whritenour said that the other warrant articles largely consisted of non-essential items they had postponed from annual town meeting in June. 

“It looks like the most prudent step is to hold off on the town meeting because it’s not absolutely essential and wait until potentially the spring when we have more options as to how to gather people together," Mr. Whritenour said. “We’re sorry to see an additional delay in those items."

Oak Bluffs’ special town meeting was scheduled to be held indoors in the Oak Bluffs school cafeteria/gymnasium. The town had a quorum of 50 voters needed to convene the annual town meeting in June.

Aquinnah, which also scheduled a special town meeting for Saturday, will go ahead with their special town meeting, town administrator Jeffrey Madison said. The Aquinnah special town meeting begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday in the parking lot in front of the fire house.