Chilmark voters could push the housing bank forward

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Chilmark voters could advance the Martha’s Vineyard home loan bank to the state legislature when they go to the polls on Wednesday. — Rich Saltzberg

Chilmark voters will go to the annual town election on Wednesday from 12pm to 8pm at the Chilmark Community Centre. The votes cast could send real estate bank Martha’s Vineyard, which needs the full support of four island cities, to the state legislature. Three cities, Edgartown, Oak Bluffs and West Tisbury, have passed the Home Rule petition in full. Tisbury passed it at its annual town meeting, but an unusual gap between the town meeting and Tisbury’s annual May 24 town election means the town meeting’s vote will not be ratified. Four cities must approve the housing bank before it goes to lawmakers for consideration. Chilmark is poised to become the fourth town if voters confirm City Assembly approval again at the ballot box.

Voters are also being asked to comment on two Proposition 2½ debt exclusions. One of them is trying to ratify an extra, according to city manager Tim Carroll $1.3 million in funding approved at a recent city special meeting for the $12.6 million Fire Station and Tri-Town Ambulance Headquarters project. The other debt waiver concerns a new HVAC system for the Chilmark School. The principal requested is $950,000, according to Treasurer Dawn Barnes. Barnes said the character was elected at a special city meeting in November 2021. Carroll previously said the two figures were not included on the ballot due to state bylaws. He also said the HVAC figure does not include interest or the time frame costs associated with paying the interest.

Chairman-elect Jim Malkin is standing for a further three-year term unopposed. No candidates appear on the ballot for a three-year seat on the Cemeteries Commission. Additionally, no candidates are listed for a one-year or three-year position as a timber, lumber, and bark surveyor or for a three-year seat as a fence observer. No one is listed as a candidate for the office of City Treasurer. However, the selected board hired the former chief auditor of West Tisbury Dawn Barnes as the city’s new treasurer over the winter. A question on the ballot attempts to change the Treasurer’s position from elected to appointed. This transition was already approved in the municipal assembly.

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