Tax Override Fails in Oak Bluffs; Meeting Heads Into a Third Night
Jim Hickey

The annual town meeting in Oak Bluffs this week was at times testy and decidedly prolonged — so much so that two nights and seven hours of spirited debate were not nearly enough, forcing the meeting to spill into next week.

After a grueling second night that focused almost entirely on the town budget and finances, voters agreed to adjourn until Monday at 7 p.m. at the Oak Bluffs School.

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Bills Await as Aquinnah Stalls Special Town Meeting Again
Sam Bungey

There was a lot wrong with the warrant for an Aquinnah special town meeting planned for Feb. 3, but a posting error was the official cause for a last-minute cancellation.

The decision, made at the selectmen’s meeting Tuesday, further postpones votes on some $20,000 in town housekeeping measures outstanding since last fall, and action on a proposal from Ted Cammann and Jim Glavin of Chilmark to stage a seasonal performing arts program at the Aquinnah Cliffs.

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Affordable Housing Site Focus of Aquinnah Town Meeting
Remy Tumin

At a special town meeting this coming Tuesday night, Aquinnah voters will be asked to buy land for a new affordable housing site and approve a new tax amnesty program, among other things.

Moderator Michael Hebert will preside over the special session that begins at 7 p.m. in the old town hall. There are nine articles on the warrant.

The community preservation committee is asking voters to approve borrowing $240,000 to buy a 6.3-acre parcel of land at 45 State Road to be converted into either affordable homes or rental units.

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Longtime Moderator Recalls Skunks, Bumps in Aquinnah
Megan Dooley

Longtime Aquinnah moderator Walter Delaney remembers, years ago, spotting an unexpected visitor sneak into a town meeting. It was a warm summer night, and he had just gaveled the meeting to a close when a skunk strolled through the front doors and settled in beneath a chair in the back of the room. Calmly, the moderator directed the other meeting attendees out the side door, careful not to alert them to their curious guest and spark a potentially smelly panic.

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Aquinnah Town Meeting Sees Walter Delaney Give up Gavel
Megan Dooley

The Aquinnah selectmen expect a swift and easy special and annual town meeting on Tuesday, citing a noncontroversial warrant despite a long list of articles, and plenty of free cash to cover all the spending.

“I don’t see a single thing that’s controversial,” said selectman Camille Rose at Tuesday night’s selectmen meeting.

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Oak Bluffs Must Settle Again Its Issues Over Tax and Spend
Jim Hickey

Oak Bluffs voters will face a new round of tough financial decisions at the annual town meeting Tuesday, beginning with a $24.7 million operating budget that the town may or may not be able to afford, and ending with a dozen override questions totaling $647,000 that put voters between a rock and a hard place: pay more taxes or do without.

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Chilmark Voters Argue Little, Finish Annual Town Meeting
Remy Tumin

Chilmark voters made speedy work of their annual town meeting on Monday night at the Chilmark Community Center, approving an overhaul of the town personnel bylaw, a new set of rules for swimming pools and tennis courts and a $7 million budget in two hours flat.

A total of 107 voters attended; longtime moderator Everett Poole presided over the session.

The budget, up $238,000 over last year, includes a 2.6 per cent cost of living increase for town employees, the highest on the Island. Chilmark town employees received no increase last year.

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Aquinnah Ends Town Meeting Season With Override Approval
Remy Tumin

Voter turnout may have been low at the Aquinnah town election and annual meeting this week, but those that did turn out came prepared to approve large expenditures and voice their disapproval of the Oak Bluffs roundabout.

A total of 54 voters, or 14 per cent of registered voters, went to the polls Wednesday to approve a $175,000 Proposition 2 1/2 override for the annual budget. The override passed 33 to 19. Aquinnah was the only town on the Island to seek a general override this year.

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Edgartown Voters Says Yes to Library Funds
Sara Brown

Edgartown voters easily approved $4.9 million in funding for a new town library, along with dozens of other spending requests during a lengthy annual town meeting Tuesday night.

With a gathering of 305 voters at the Old Whaling Church, town meeting members approved most of the items on the 63-article annual town meeting warrant and a 12-article special town meeting warrant.

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Chilmark Special Town Meeting Tackles Future of Tea Lane Farm
Remy Tumin

The fate of the historic Tea Lane Farm will come before Chilmark voters for a fourth time at a special town meeting on Monday. Voters are being asked to decide whether the town should enter into a long-term lease with a tenant farmer.

The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Chilmark Community Center. Moderator Everett Poole will preside over the special session.

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