Island superintendent of schools Richard (Richie) Smith spoke sternly to school committee members this week, wishing he was given a head’s up about Jeffrey (Skipper) Manter’s motion at West Tisbury town meeting that led to voters rejecting the regional high school budget.

Mr. Manter, a member of the West Tisbury select board and the up-Island school committee, made the motion at Tuesday’s town meeting to zero-fund West Tisbury’s $3.4 million share of the high school budget. Voters then approved the motion, saying it was in protest of the school's ongoing litigation over an artificial turf field.

At the up-Island school committee meeting Thursday, Mr. Smith said he was blindsided by Mr. Manter’s motion.

“I was not aware of what the motion was that you were going to bring up,” Mr. Smith said to Mr. Manter. “Pushback, I expected. This was an entire motion, made by my colleague, someone that I work closely with, and I didn’t know that.”

In the future, Mr. Smith asked that he’d be given a head’s up, and made it clear that his displeasure was with the lack of notice, not the budget vote itself.

“The town has spoken, and clearly I’ve heard it,” he said.

“I respect and actually understand [that] when a group of folks feels like they’re not heard, they’re going to take matters into their own hands in ways like we saw Tuesday night,” Mr. Smith added.

Mr. Manter’s motion and the nearly-unanimous vote against the budget are both evidence that the school district needs better collaboration among its members, according to the superintendent.

“There’s a need for us to lean in together and work together,” Mr. Smith said. “When a full town speaks out, it is time for us to look at what the issue is and it is time to work together.”

As superintendent of schools, Mr. Smith is the chief executive officer for all six Island districts and reports to their six school committees.

Formerly the assistant superintendent, Mr. Smith is nearly halfway through a two-year appointment to complete the contract term of former superintendent Matthew D’Andrea, who is now running the Wareham school system.

Mr. Smith made his remarks to the up-Island committee Thursday because the all-Island committee was unable to muster a quorum for its monthly meeting the night before.

Quorum issues also came up at the up-Island meeting. Members expressed their ire at the failure of some all-Island members to even respond to a pre-meeting quorum check.

“I am damn angry,” board member Robert Lionette said, while Alex Salop suggested that some all-Island members are single-issue voters.

Burnout could also be a factor: Longtime school district recorder Marni Lipke said Thursday that committee meetings have proliferated over the years.

“The meetings have multiplied exponentially,” Ms. Lipke said. “I would say you need to drastically cut back.”

All six districts have monthly committee meetings, with delegates from the Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Tisbury and up-Island committees also serving on the high school and up-Island committees.

Additionally, the high school committee has several subcommittees that meet to discuss land use, transportation, athletic needs and the budget.

On Thursday, Mr. Smith recommended reviewing the number, length and start time of the meetings to see if the burden on committee members and district employees can be eased.

Also Thursday, Chilmark Preschool board member Alicia Knight thanked the school committee and Chilmark School principal Susan Stevens for agreeing to rearrange classrooms so that the preschool can continue sharing space with the town school for another two years.

The preschool hopes to build a new facility on the town campus that’s also home to the Chilmark Community Center, but hasn’t identified a site, Ms. Knight said.