Ever since the roundabout resurfaced last spring, we’ve all been itching to put the issue to an island-wide vote. Surely if we, the people got to speak, we could kill this thing?
But for better or worse, there’s no such thing as an island-wide vote. Martha’s Vineyard is one island, yes, but it comprises six towns, each of which holds its own town meetings and its own elections. If you want the whole island to vote on an issue, you have to get it on the ballot and/or the town meeting warrant in each of those six towns.
Well, thanks to the persistence of several people, it’s happening. A referendum on the roundabout is going to be on the ballot this spring in Aquinnah, Chilmark, Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Tisbury, and West Tisbury.
True, the referenda are non-binding. If the nays have it, as I do expect we will, that won’t stop the roundabout. Legal action can’t stop the roundabout. It looks as though even the Martha’s Vineyard Commission couldn’t have stopped the roundabout once the Oak Bluffs board of selectmen made its deal with the
devil Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
But I still cherish the illusion that “we, the people” count for something. And now we’ve got a chance to say it loud: We don’t want your roundabout!