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Welcome to the Town of Chilmark, MA
Selectmen's Meeting Minutes 08/08/17
Chilmark Board of Selectmen      August 8, 2017     Meeting Minutes

Present: Chairman Bill Rossi, Jim Malkin, Warren Doty, Kate DeVane, Chuck Hodgkinson,  Matt D’Andrea, Frank LoRusso, Dennis Jason,  Rob Hannemann, Dianne Smith, Everett Poole, Police Chief Klarèn, Jennifer Christy newspaper reporters Chloe Reichel and  Rick Salzberg, videographer for MVTV Lynn Christoffers.

At 5:00 PM Chairman Rossi called meeting to order in the Selectmen’s meeting room in the Chilmark Town Hall at 401 Middle Road.

School Capital Planning Item with Mr. Hodgkinson & Superintendent D’Andrea:
Matt D’Andrea opened the presentation:
  • Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB)liability and maintenance costs of high school-challenges
  • Looking into grants to build a new high school
  • Mr. Hodgkinson presented an idea to the superintendent that could benefit the schools
  • First impression was positive and it was brought to the All Island School Committee and they received it positively
  • Chilmark is the first stop for this idea/presentation
  • Mr. D’Andrea asks, if the Town thinks it is good idea, to write a letter of support to Mr. D’Andrea that may be taken to the legislature
Mr. Hodgkinson presented the PowerPoint slideshow
  • Key points: OPEB liability for entire school system  at approximately $81,000,000.00
  • Estimated cost for High School rebuilding $55,000,000.00
  • Options for funding were proposed.
  • To distribute the cost to every taxpayer on MV equally and all island visitors without raising our tax levy
  • Idea is to partner with Steam Ship Authority and levy a fee for all vehicle travelers between Woods Hole and Martha’s Vineyard (less than a cup of chowder) and a smaller fee for passenger tickets.   
  • Mr. Hodgkinson requested a letter of support
  • Plan is to take the letters of support to the state legislature
Mr. Malkin asked for the arguments against the idea. It was noted the SSA would possibly not look favorably on the idea, but there is also a challenge in the legislature.
Discussion occurred about what problems may arise as this idea begins moving forward.

Mr. Malkin made a motion to write a letter of support.
Mr. Hannemann noted the Finance Committees of the island will have a responsibility for this problem
  • He noted that there is a solution presented here without a full grasp of the problems. He feels that there is a jump to a solution before there is an understanding of the problems.
  • He noted it is incumbent on the schools to develop a long-term plan and then to develop solutions to address the long-term plan
Mr. Hodgkinson responded to the points.

School Item with C. Hodgkinson & M. D’Andrea Continued
Ms. DeVane responded to Mr. Hannemann. She noted her support of addressing the OPEB problem and said that Mr. Hodgkinson’s idea is very important to contribute to the health of the school system.

Mr. D’Andrea said that clear enrollment data will be one important piece of information that will be looked at carefully moving forward.

Chairman Rossi stated Mr. Hannemann’s points are important.
Mr. Malkin said that Mr. Hannemann and Mr. Hodgkinson both make very good points. He agreed that data about what will be built and enrollment will be important but he also felt that a solution should be searched for beginning now. Mr. LoRusso stated his support.

Mr. Doty recognized Mr. Hodgkinson for his hard work in the development of this idea. He commended Mr. Hodgkinson and moved to endorse this idea and the plan to move forward.
Mr. Hodgkinson stated the school committees are already working hard at looking at the OPEB problem. Mr. Malkin seconded the motion. SO VOTED: 3 Ayes

Planning Board: Noise Solution:
The Selectmen briefly discussed the memo and decided to await the investigation of the Planning Board. No action was taken at this time.

Lt. Gov. Community Compact Cabinet membership:
After reviewing the information given to them by State Representative Fernandez last week Mr. Doty spoke of the idea favorably. Mr. Doty made a motion to join the Community Compact.
Mr. Malkin seconded the motion. SO VOTED: 3 Ayes

Harbor Advisory Committee Recommendation re Crab Corner:
Chairman Rossi asked Mr. Poole (chairman of the Harbor Advisory Committee) to explain the recommendation. Mr. Poole said the Committee voted 3-1 to keep Crab Corner closed until it is abundantly clear that the area is safe for people.
Mr. Poole noted a subsequently received ‘minority report’ from another Harbor Advisory Committee member notes incorrect information.
Mr. Malkin said that there has been other correspondence received on the topic of the Crab Corner closure. He noted that he understands the concerns of those who oppose the closure of Crab Corner.

Mr. Malkin said that the process to address the Crab Corner situation has been open and transparent and the Selectmen have worked diligently to address the problem with testing and observance of the area. Mr. Malkin stated he has spoken with Town Counsel and that Counsel has stated that the situation is different now because the Town has been notified of a problem and now has a responsibility to address the problem.

Mr. Malkin stated that Cole Powers is scheduled to complete a ‘survey’ to be done on the Thursday after Labor Day. Mr. Malkin stated he would like Tim Carroll to confirm whether there is insurance coverage in the event an accident occurs.
Harbor Advisory Committee Recommendation re Crab Corner Continued
Mr. Malkin also noted that he would be willing to take all information gathered to a town meeting for a vote on the access to Crab Corner once all information is gathered.
Mr. Doty said if there is a report soon about the level of electricity in the water and that report is made available to the public, then he feels that will help inform a plan going forward.

Mr. Doty stated the plan was addressed which was to correct the grounding of the electricity. In addition, the tests have shown that the water is not electricity-free. He stated the plan is being followed to test and then take steps to protect the public based on the results of the test.
Mr. Malkin stated that, even though children and parents in Town love the area including himself and his family, he cannot knowingly place the public in a possible dangerous situation.

Mr. Doty also noted that the floating docks are new additions in the last 10 years and it is possible that their structure may be contributing to the problem. He further noted that as long as the reports show electricity in the water then Crab Corner must remain closed. Mr. Powers’ report should be available in a day or two and that report will be available to the public.
Mr. Malkin and Mr. Rossi agreed this was the proper way forward.

Mr. Malkin clarified that on the Thursday after Labor Day, Mr. Powers is to begin a full inventory of the electrical systems in Menemsha and will produce a report.

Mr. Poole inquired whether Eversource has checked the service coming off the pole to the area. He noted there was a great deal of trouble with voltage leaks when three phase power was installed. He remembers there were issues and that he had personal experiences with voltage.
Mr. Malkin stated he has spoken with Ms. Linda Coutinho at Eversource and she has advised that there is a group that will do a diagnostic test as well.

Mr. Malkin noted that the parent of the first child with the first jolt told his mother that he shook all over when he got the shock and that he felt it was stronger than a horse fence shock.
Mr. Doty noted state funding was received from the Governor’s Seaport Council to put in the transient docks and the bidding process for the docks and other infrastructure was thorough and the electrical work was completed to state specifications by a state certified contractor. This was due to the funds originating from a state grant process.

Marsh Plan - Conservation  Commission (ConComm)Update:
Mr. Doty stated that the ConComm would like the Town to support a plan that protects the salt marsh. Mr. Doty noted that the path traverses Town land and further noted that the walkway currently in place is not protective of the salt marsh. He further noted that residents in the area have voiced their support of improvement of the current walkway so that the salt marsh could be protected.

Mr. Hodgkinson said that he has spoken with some landowners and that easement issues have to be clarified. An annual meeting of the residents occurs this month, he noted, and after that more progress could be made on what funds would be used to create a new, more protective walkway.

Marsh Plan - Conservation  Commission Update Continued…
Mr. Doty noted that the ConComm is concerned that visitors who visit the Sword fisherman sculpture and he stated there could be a plan that addresses the salt marsh walkway and a raised area boardwalk-type platform around the sculpture.

Mr. Malkin stated he preferred to leave the problem-solving to the ConComm and he supports that, if town funds are utilized to construct a walkway, then it must be allowed access to townspeople.

US Army Corps Article:
Selectmen reviewed an article from the Army Corps of Engineers with an outline of the third attempt at dredging Menemsha Channel this fall. Mr. Hodgkinson stated that a signed memorandum was received from Aquinnah concerning the material spoils.

Chilmark Community Center (CCC) Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU):
Chairman Rossi said the Town Affairs Council and Chilmark Board of Selectmen will meet to agree on a plan. Mr. Doty said the two concerns of the Town Affairs Council is the continuing tennis program after the season and the use of the CCC by those participants without any supervision. Chairman Rossi stated that he would like a sailing program commitment in the new MOU.

Mr. Malkin agreed and reiterated that a sailing program needs to be a part of the new MOU.
Mr. Doty also noted that building maintenance plan and responsibilities need to be outlined more carefully and clearly. Chairman Rossi said that the Community Center Advisory Committee has tasked the Town Maintenance Supervisor to be the person who plans out the maintenance work.

Tri Town Ambulance Facility Discussion:
Mr. Doty said that the TriTown Ambulance Committee is looking at space on Menemsha Crossroad to build a facility and that it is the intention of the Committee that Chilmark will be the future center of the ambulance service. He further noted that the Fire Station building plan is something that must operate in concert with the planning for the Tri Town facility planning.
Chairman Rossi said he will be meeting with Mr. Modigliani within the week to discuss ideas for a Fire Station facility.Mr. Doty said his intention to work with the Fire Station planning committee to move forward on the planning of the Tri Town Ambulance facility

Special Municipal Employee Appointment:
Mr. Malkin moved to designate all MV Commission members as special municipal employees. Mr. Doty seconded the motion. SO VOTED: 3 Ayes

MVLB Correspondence:
Selectmen’s office received a copy of a letter from Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank sent to the Pasture Road Association concerning their belief that their portion of emergency electrical repairs to Pasture Hill Road Association is too great. No action was taken.

Mr. Doty stated all correspondence was received and noted.
Tabor House Parking Lot Update:
Police Chief Klarèn’s email was read and Mr. Doty said the suggestion to mow the lot again is a good idea. He would like this done.

Community Center Book Festival:
Mr. Malkin said many townspeople had spoken with him about the parking issues and congestion in Town during the festival. Mr. Malkin noted that some suggested that large island-wide events not be held in Chilmark due to the overwhelming impact on the Town.
Mr. Doty said that the event is on a Sunday and that other places are closed on that day. He said that the event is an intellectual event which is great to have and that it is free to the public. Mr. Doty noted a taxi was hired to go back and forth to the park n’ ride lot. Mr. Doty stated his total support for a book festival.

Draft minutes of July 25, 2017 Selectmen meeting were reviewed, corrections were made. Mr. Malkin moved to approve minutes as corrected. Mr. Doty seconded the motion.
SO VOTED: 3 Ayes

Mr. Doty and Ben Retmeir wrote a letter to the Editor of the MV Times and he read it aloud in the meeting.
Mr. Malkin stated his support of the Tri Town Ambulance department.

With no further items for discussion Mr. Malkin made a motion to adjourn at 6:37PM. Mr. Doty seconded the motion. SO VOTED: 3 Ayes

Minutes respectfully submitted by Diana DeBlase.                             Approved 08/22/2017

Document list:
  • Draft minutes from Selectmen’s 11/25, 2017 meeting
  • Power point -Mr. Hodgkinson on Funding plan for High School and OPEB
  • Memo from the Chilmark Planning board regarding noise pollution
  • Information for Chilmark from Lt Gov about joining Community Compact Cabinet
  • Recommendation from Chilmark Harbor Advisory Committee RE Crab Corner issues
  •  ACE article on Menemsha channel dredging project to start October 2017
  • Request from Doug Sederholm to be appointed as special municipal employee
  • Letter from C Thompson re walkway over salt marsh into Menemsha Beach area.
  • Request to support Samaritans day September 7, 2017
  • Chilmark statistics - voter resident count
  • MV Land Bank letter concerning portion of Road Association dues at Pasture Hill Road
  • Harbor Advisory recommendation concerning Crab Corner in Menemsha
  • Correspondence from Harbor Advisory member concerning the Crab Corner topic
  • Aquinnah Planning Board hearing about changes to creek lot property
  • ComCast rate notice
  • NextEra rate notice
  • Tabor House sunset shuttle parking lot recommendation for discussion from Police Chief
  • Notice from CVEC of hearing concerning changes to net metering credit values
  • Notice from Chilmark Planning Board for hearing  Emin property subdivision
  • Chilmark Pond display by Mr. O’Keefe at library request for response about MEP display
  • Notice from State about Municipal ADA Improvement Grant

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Chilmark Town Offices: Chilmark Town Offices: 401 Middle Road, P.O. Box 119 02535-0119