MV Gazette, on October 1st, 2011

AQUINNAH VOTERS SAY YES, YES AND YES AGAIN

Aquinnah voters agreed to restore full funding to the Tri-Town Ambulance Service budget at a special town meeting Tuesday night.

As a result, $25,900 that was cut at the annual town meeting in May will be returned to the budget for the ambulance that serves the three up-Island towns.

At the special meeting Tuesday, selectman and board chairman Jim Newman assured voters the number will decrease next year as negotiations for a new cost-sharing method are underway. The article passed unanimously.

“I thank you,” Mr. Newman said.

“As a member of Tri-Town, I thank you too,” said Walter Delaney, who served as moderator for the night.

A total of 41 voters attended the special meeting, which was actually two meetings, one to make up for a meeting that had been cancelled in July due to a lack of quorum.

 

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Walter Delaney drew his gavel once more.

Filling in for Michael Hebert, who was unable to attend, Mr. Delaney the former moderator, drew applause when he took his gavel from his leather briefcase.

In other business voters unanimously approved the town’s share of a Martha’s Vineyard Commission-led affordable housing needs assessment study. Aquinnah housing committee member Richard Skidmore amended the article to lower the amount from $4,000 to $2,700, and said both the community preservation committee and housing committee recommended the article.

Wages owed the planning board clerk in the amount of $238 were also approved.

Voters agreed to hire an independent contractor to take care of a backlog of tax takings, spending $14,000 for the temporary hire. Town treasurer Judy Jardin said it was a good cost-saving approach.

“We’re just trying to get caught up trying to protect the town’s interest, trying to keep cost down for you and hope it can all be done in about six months,” she said.

Voter June Manning said it was long overdue.

“I hope some of the titles can be straightened out once and for all,” she said. “I’m glad something is finally going to be done.”

Tax collector Wenonah Madison said the tax titles need to be combed through.

“This stuff has been around for a long time . . . and somebody needs to go and clean it up and make sure things are correct,” she said.

Voters backed a plan to rent storage space at the Martha’s Vineyard Airport business park for storing town records currently housed in a crawl space at the town hall.

• Agreed to return $20,800 for the town’s share in Medicare and Social Security payments. Town accountant Marjorie Spitz explained the overpayment was due to a miscommunication between her and Ms. Jardin.

• Said yes to a request from Aquinnah police chief Randhi Belain for $2,500 to pay police officers for unused vacation days and $923 for emergency storm coverage during tropical storm Irene.

by Remy Tumin

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