with permission, MV Gazette
by Sam Bungey
It was a labor of love that lacked passion at the Aquinnah special town meeting Wednesday night — a bare quorum of 42 voters turned out to dispose of a 15-article warrant, offering scant discussion, and it was all over within half an hour.
Voters approved a request to continue funding a stalled job to bury power lines at the Aquinnah Cliffs using Community Preservation Act money. Several mistakes were made in a first attempt to bury the lines last fall including the fact that selectmen neglected to put the job out to bid, awarding it to local contractor Jim Glavin instead, without drawing up a contract.
Mr. Glavin’s company also carried out a part of the job which the utility company NStar insists on conducting itself. The NStar portion accounts for approximately two-thirds of the project and will cost the town around $9,000.
Mr. Glavin deducted $3,000 from his bill for mistakes made.
Last month selectmen put community preservation committee chairman Darrill Bazzy in charge of the project. On Wednesday night he told voters that he will be conducting a full bid process, acquiring quotes from at least three contractors and that depending on the cooperation of NStar and the speed of the bidding process, he hopes to complete the job before the end of the month.
Mr. Bazzy said he estimates that the project will end up costing the town $3,000 more than it would have if conducted properly the first time around.
Voters also approved the transfer of $25,000 from various town accounts to cover legal fees, and a request by the selectmen for $3,000 to begin installing safety air vents at the town landfill.
The position of town employee Angela Cywinski was changed from assistant assessor to assessor/appraiser. Selectmen Jim Newman said the title more accurately reflects her job description.
The remainder of the warrant dealt with housekeeping measures ahead of the close of the fiscal year June 30. Wednesday’s meeting had been postponed from last month for lack of a quorum, a fact that was clearly on the mind of town moderator Walter Delaney.
“I want to thank you for turning up, and we’ll run through this quickly,” he told voters as he opened the meeting.
Still he wasn’t fast enough for some. Several voters voiced approval of one article before Mr. Delaney had managed to finish calling for a vote.
As board of health member Jerry Weiner stood to explain the landfill request, a vote was called and the measure was unanimously approved, while Mr. Weiner was still in a crouch.
“I was ready,” he told selectmen with a shrug as he returned to his seat.