Outdoor mask mandates, reduced parking at Menemsha and eliminating the VTA sunset bus run were all on the table for discussion Tuesday at a joint meeting of the Chilmark selectmen and board of health — but in the end no action was taken on any front.

As in other Island towns, the two boards are now meeting regularly to stay on top of Covid mitigation measures with cases on the rise.

At a joint meeting last week, both boards adopted an indoor mask mandate and left open the possibility for further restrictions. Selectman James Malkin had proposed the idea of reinstituting a mask mandate outdoors at Menemsha, where large crowds gather daily around sunset.

But this week board of health member Matt Pooole who is also the Edgartown health agent, spoke about the limitations of an outdoor mask mandate.

“I don’t think we could even contemplate enforcing it,” he said. “I think it’s an appropriate gesture, but to take it beyond a gesture is going to be really difficult.”

Board members emphasized their desire to work in concert with the board of health. “Up to this point, every position we’ve taken as a select board has been in cooperation and conjunction with the board of health,” selectman Warren Doty said. “So if we were to take a new position tonight, I would want to make sure we were doing it as two boards together.”

Selectman Jim Mr. Malkin concurred, noting the lack of outdoor mask requirements in other towns, although he added: “But I’m not afraid to lead on this issue.”

Meanwhile, police chief Jonathan Klaren spoke about the capacity of the town police department and his limited ability to handle enforcing parking restrictions in Menemsha and stopping the VTA sunset bus.

“I started the summer with four traffic officers . . . I don’t have any today,” Chief Klaren said, adding that he is actively recruiting.

Selectman Bill Rossi noted that fewer open businesses in Menemsha this summer has meant reduced traffic in the village.

Mr. Doty agreed.

“I think that [limiting parking and eliminatig the sunset bus] could be a symbolic gesture, but it’s not going to be a particularly meaningful gesture. So I think leaving the parking situation, leaving the sunset bus as it is . . . we . . . only have two weeks left in the season, and I think leaving it as is would be fine,” he said.

The VTA service is independently ending on August 31.

The boards next evaluated the prospect of a vaccine mandate for town employees. Mr. Malkin said he had discussed the issue with Jack Collins, the town’s labor attoney who advised West Tisbury prior to its own vote last week to require vaccines for town employees.

“I think we should go on the record that there have been some letters from members of the boards of health to us, emails basically saying that at this point, they don’t think [a town employee vaccine mandate is] an effective way to proceed,” Mr. Malkin said.

Others weighed in. Ebba Hierta, the Chilmark library director, spoke about the difficulty of hiring new staff without a vaccine mandate.

“I cannot imagine bringing an unvaccinated person into an enclosed area to spend the day with a number of employees who have specific vulnerabilities, their own medical conditions, or very serious vulnerabilities of family members at home,” she said. “And I thought hard about ways that I could dance around this a lot in an interview, but without a mandate from the town, I’m not sure how I can legally raise that. And I think all the lawyers in the room would understand when I say when you start dancing, you risk tripping, and I would risk putting the town in a liability risk.”

Pamela Bunker questioned if a mandate would prevent qualified applicants with approved exemptions from being hired.

Mr. Doty spoke of the precedents currently being set by the Department of Defense and the state of Massachusetts.

“We’re not out of step, but we are plenty early,” Mr. Poole concluded, later adding that there is “definitely a little time to kick this around.”

The two boards will meet again Sept. 1 to continue discussion.

Also on the agenda was an update from the Chilmark town affairs council on its investigation into an incident in July at the Community Center summer camp. Mr. Doty said the report would be delayed for a few more days because Jeff Herman, council president, had a death in his family.

“The Community Center has taken this incident very seriously, [and] is working very hard on getting us a complete report, and we’ll have that report within a few days,” Mr. Doty said.