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10 Signatures

Nantucket has an annual Town Meeting to legislate all matters concerning the Town. Generally, all of the actions taken during Town Meeting determine how the Select Board and Town departments will be able to serve the public throughout the year. In my opinion, this is a great system; it really puts the control of the Town’s destiny in the voters’ hands. However, it doesn’t come without flaws. For example, a citizen can file a Citizen’s Warrant Article with just 10 signatures from registered voters. Once published in the Warrant, a Citizen’s Article has potential to wreak havoc on certain industries.

For example, there is a Citizen’s Article on the 2020 Warrant that will drastically reduce the ground cover on all zoning districts that have setbacks, which is 18 out of 20 zoning districts. Once the Warrant is published in January, any building application that does not comply with this Citizen’s Article will be frozen until the outcome of whether this Article passes or not is determined at Town Meeting in April. So, a large part of Nantucket’s second biggest industry, construction, will be on hold from sometime in January until early April. And, that only took 10 signatures…

Year over year comparison of YTD total volume:

’09 – $402mm *Lowest total yearly volume.
’10 – $629mm
’11 – $504mm
’12 – $726mm
’13 – $725mm
’14 – $949mm *$1bn+ year.
’15 – $815mm
’16 – $945mm
’17 – $985mm *$1bn+ year.
’18 – $1.09bn *Highest total yearly volume. $1bn+ year.
’19 – $931mm