Select Board Failed To Hold SBPF Accountable

Burton Balkind, President, Nantucket Coastal Conservancy •

To the editor: How can this happen again?

In March 2022, the Select Board voted unanimously to adopt a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Siasconset Beach Preservation Fund (SBPF). The MOU is related to the geotube project installed on the public beach below the bluff in Sconset. The Conservation Commission (ConCom) had ordered the project removed in 2021 because SBPF repeatedly failed to meet the requirements of its permit. (The removal order, appealed by SBPF, was upheld in Nantucket Superior Court in September 2022, but has not been executed.)

According to the explicit terms of this MOU, the parties agreed that, once the enforcement issues were resolved and compliance with the existing permit achieved, the Town and SBPF would then file a Notice of Intent (NOI) for a phased expansion of the existing geotubes.

Fast forward from 2022 to six weeks ago: the Town and SBPF filed a 354-page NOI with the ConCom for such an expansion. However, the enforcement issues have not been resolved. The project has not been brought into compliance.

Why would the Select Board members consent to file the NOI when SBPF has not met the provisions of the MOU? Because this matter is never discussed in public, we simply don’t know. What we do know is that once again, it appears that our Select Board has failed to hold SBPF accountable for what they promise and don’t deliver.


Burton Balkind, President

On behalf of the Nantucket Coastal Conservancy Coordinating Team, including Elin Anderwald, D. Anne Atherton, Joyce Berruet, Peter Brace, Diane Coombs, Janie Hobson Dupont, Susan Landmann, Susan McFarland, Catherine Nickerson, Maureen Phillips, Mary Wawro, and Karen Werner.

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