The Iceberg Cometh

Town meeting season starts next week on Martha’s Vineyard. Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Tisbury, and West Tisbury all hold their annual town meetings on Tuesday the 10th. In Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, and West Tisbury, elections take place two days later, on the 12th (Tisbury doesn’t vote till the 24th).

On April 12, the citizens of Edgartown and West Tisbury will get to vote aye or nay in a non-binding referendum on the proposed roundabout. Not so, as discussed earlier in this blog, the citizens of Oak Bluffs. They will, however, get to express an opinion at their annual town meeting if they stay up late enough.

The Oak Bluffs selectmen clearly did not want the town’s people to vote on the roundabout. Why not? The best theory I’ve heard yet is that selectmen Greg Coogan and Kathy Burton, both diehard roundabout boosters, are up for re-election and the last thing they wanted was a horde of anti-roundabouters showing up at the polls and voting one of them out of office. (Former selectman Roger Wey is the only other candidate; two of the three will get elected.)

Thursday, April 12, is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.

Coogan and Burton are running on the slogan “Stay the Course.” Sandra Lippens, proprietor of Tilton Rentall, put two and two together and came up with the sign on the right.

Tilton Rentall is located at the blinker intersection. Sandra has been fighting the roundabout since the idea first surfaced in the early 2000s. The following signs have just appeared on Tilton’s perimeter fence, clearly readable from the Edgartown–Vineyard Haven Road.

From right: “Finally, a democratic process for almost the entire island.” “We’re tired of arrogance and abuse of power at all levels.” “Do you want a roundabout here? Please please VOTE.

Election dates for the six island towns. Oak Bluffs is the only one that won’t get to vote in the non-binding referendum on the roundabout.

On the right, a call for Oak Bluffs voters to attend their town meeting. On the left: “This is your island. You ultimately pay the freight.”

“Governor Patrick, please stop the bulldozers and redirect the money to social services/education” . . . Burma-Shave.

This one is just around the corner. Sandra wrote the copy; the signs were created by her artistically talented staff. I can’t find a single typo in any of them. Can a movement of Vineyarders whose signs are spelled correctly possibly fail?

About Susanna J. Sturgis

Susanna edits for a living, writes to survive, and has been preoccupied with electoral politics since 2016. She just started a blog about her vintage T-shirt collection: "The T-Shirt Chronicles." Her other blogs include "From the Seasonally Occupied Territories," about being a year-round resident of Martha's Vineyard, and "Write Through It," about writing, editing, and how to keep going.
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4 Responses to The Iceberg Cometh

  1. I love the Driver civility exists…poster. I love the 4 way. Its so interactive an there are real balletic moments! I never feel or see those in roundabouts. If only we could trust them to build a tiny British one but its all construction overkill now.


  2. jo says:

    excellent sign campaign—reasonable, informative, beautifully made, no errors in spelling or punctuation, and a touch of humor.


  3. Sara Crafts says:

    Absolutely dead-on, Susanna — and Sandra!! Please post this and how about printing it for maximum distribution in the week before next Tuesday? I’ll do my fair share, you can believe ….


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