Editors, Vineyard Gazette:
I am writing in response to the recent decision by the Oak Bluffs selectmen to not allow the voting citizens of the town the opportunity of expressing their views on the issue of making the annual Monster Shark Tournament a catch-and-release-only event.
On August 20, the following proposed ballot question, signed by 10 registered Oak Bluffs voters, was given to chairman Kathy Burton: “Effective with this vote, all shark fishing tournaments held in the town of Oak Bluffs shall be catch and release only.”
Last week Mrs. Burton denied the Oak Bluffs voting public the chance to express their views on this important issue by rejecting their request to place this question on the April 2013 ballot.
Regrettably, this is the second time in the past year that the Oak Bluffs selectman have denied voters the chance to vote on significant town matters. Such undemocratic maneuvering can be viewed by reasonable minds as fear of the people’s voice. Why else would Kathy Burton and other elected town officials not be eager to learn the views of their constituents?
Steve Maxner, West Tisbury