January in Town From the Desk of Town Manager Libby Gibson.

What's up in Town Administration?

Around, oh, the end of March, 2020 I think we began saying “can’t wait for 2021”. 2021 is here, with a much brighter outlook than we had last spring. COVID-19 vaccinations have started and we are looking with anticipation toward this summer. CAUTION: we are not “out of the woods” yet. Even once we have gotten to the Phase III vaccinations, safety protocols will most likely continue to be recommended and/or required. Vaccinated individuals, (hopefully) will not contract the virus, but can still transmit it to the un-vaccinated. So, please continue to be careful. We have established an Economic Task Force that is actively beginning scenario planning, outreach to businesses and research on the best ways to provide assistance to businesses. The group reports to the Select Board, at the Board’s weekly meetings. Our COVID-19 Task Force remains active – this group is primarily tasked with enforcement and outreach as to safety protocols and requirements, and also reports to the Board weekly. As fatigued as we all are with COVID-19 restrictions, protocols and general monotony, we are still under a State-wide “Safer-at-Home Advisory”. Basically – you are safer at home than going out to do anything but the most necessary of activities. If you do decide to go out, please be extremely mindful of the risks of gatherings and not wearing a face covering and take the appropriate measures. COVID issues continue to be at the forefront for now and we are working to ensure that the vaccine distribution program is rolled out smoothly, while continuing to remain current with other COVID news and information, and getting this out to the public on our social media platforms, including the Town website, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, radio and NCTV and other videos.

COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Timeline

The Massachusetts COVID-19 Vaccination Program Phase 2 is scheduled to start in February and continue through April. Individuals who are eligible to receive the vaccine under Phase 2 of the Massachusetts vaccination plan are listed HERE. Within Phase 2, individuals will be prioritized by age, comorbidity and occupational risk.

To apply for Phase 2 of the Massachusetts vaccination plan on Nantucket, please complete the following form: REQUEST FOR A COVID-19 VACCINE UNDER PHASE 2Please, do not fill out this form unless you are a Phase 2 candidate.

Registration for Phase 1 has ended. If you believe you are eligible for Phase 1, please call ( 508-228-7200 ext. 7009) or email health@nantucket-ma.gov.

Remember, a healthy Nantucket starts with you.

Stay home when you can, practice physical distancing, cover your nose and mouth and wash your hands frequently. Find downloadable graphics for social media and to share in your house/business windows.

2021 Annual Town Meeting (ATM)

As you hopefully know by now, the 2021 ATM has been rescheduled from April 5 to June 5 and will be held outdoors at a School playing field (exact one – TBD, mostly likely, Backus Lane). Planning for an outdoor town meeting has added another layer of planning and preparation that we are currently working on. Meanwhile, the warrant for the Town Meeting is currently being finalized. The Board is scheduled to adopt it mid-February and the Finance Committee (FinCom) has been meeting to discuss motions to articles. We carried over 22 citizen warrant articles from the abbreviated 2020 ATM, received 25 more by the original November deadline for 2021 ATM and then another 10 when the deadline was extended to January 20 because of the rescheduling. The Capital Program Committee has completed its report on capital projects for FY 2022 and presented it to the Select Board on January 27th. FinCom is scheduled to finalize its motions by the beginning of April.

*Sidebar regarding the CapCom – this Committee, led by Chair Stephen Welch, spends a tremendous amount of time reviewing, vetting, questioning, discussing, and researching the requests that come before it. CapCom is also constantly working with Town Administration to improve the overall capital improvement program and its associated process. The report is detailed and comprehensive. We very much appreciate the Committee’s time, dedication, feedback and efforts. Thank you, CapCom!

Other activities that Town Admin has been busy with include:

  • attending the January Cape Cod Manager’s meeting, where we talked about upcoming Town Meetings, collective bargaining negotiations, FY 22 budget outlooks, and COVID-issues.
  • attending the Massachusetts Municipal Association annual conference, which was virtual this year, not quite the same but did allow opportunity for town officials to network, talk with colleagues, learn about current events and issues of concern to municipalities; there was a strong focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) issues with some very dynamic speakers and presenters.
  • participating in the Select Board’s second workshop (January 12th) relating to the development of a Facilities Master Plan; we are now working to summarize the consensus points and determine next steps; the Board also adopted its updated 2021 Strategic Plan on January 13th. Town Administration will now begin to develop an implementation plan for the Board’s goals.
  • hiring our first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Director. We have hired Kamal McCarthy for this position, he will start work on March 1, 2021. Kamal has a strong educational background in Political Science, he holds a Master of Science degree in Labor Studies and is currently completing a doctorate degree in Organizational Leadership Studies. We are excited to begin working with Kamal and look forward to have him guide us to engage our employees and the community as to where we can improve DEI within and outside of Town government.
Town of Nantucket DEI Director Kimal McCarthy.
  • we also remain very much involved in the emerging issue of PFAS; we hope to provide the Board with an update on the Town-wide PFAS risk assessment in February


Our Local VFW Sidney and Robert Henderson Post #8608 has agreed to provide space for COVID vaccinations beginning the first week of February with the Phase II groups as prioritized by the State. This location is ideal and we are extremely grateful to the VFW for this space.

In Memoriam

We were very saddened to learn that Alan Andrews of the company Americlock, passed away in early January. Alan was responsible (thanks to Libby Oldham) for restoring the Town Clock, re-gilding the hands and getting “the 52’s” back (ringing of the bell 52 times, 3 times a day) in the early 2000’s. Alan made an annual (or more often if needed) trip to the Island to give the Clock its annual check-up. He often emailed or texted with funny clock or other stories. He was an expert with clock towers and we were extremely fortunate that he took an interest in Nantucket’s Town Clock (which is located in what is known as the South Tower of the Second Congregational Meeting House Society – also known as the Unitarian Universalist Church, on Orange Street). Alan was a remarkable resource for us. We will miss him very much.

Alan Andrews during one of his Town Clock annual check-ups.

From the Town Clerk

Annual Town of Nantucket Census

The Annual Town of Nantucket Census, or “Street Listing” will be mailed to all existing residents at the end of this week. This Annual Census is required of all Massachusetts cities and town by Massachusetts General Law. The Annual Census form also contains a convenient mail-in form for the licensing of dogs.

Not to be confused with the recent decennial “Federal Census”, the local Census is not only required, but aids the town and its residents in a variety of areas, including, but not limited to: proof of residency for numerous personal or legal requirements, (including the year-round rate for vehicles on the Steamship), planning for school enrollment, veteran’s benefits, the allocation of state and federal funds and grants, as well as attempting to maintain accurate population information.

Meet Your Town Volunteers

Finance Committee Chair Denice Kronau

Photo Credit: Laurie Richards.

How long have you lived on Nantucket? Full-time since 2014 and as much as possible since 1998.

Where are you from? Poestenkill, NY.

How did you come to live here? Our first visit was in 1996. We stayed at the Roberts House for five days. The following year we rented a house on Low Beach Road. After that vacation, we decided we’d like to live here one day. At the time, I was living and working in London, my husband was in Munich, and we thought: how cool would it be to someday live on Nantucket?

What is your job? I am an executive mentor with Merryck & Co. I work with individual executives who are leaders in their companies to help them reach their full potential and create positive impact on their businesses.

How long have you served on the Finance Committee? Since 2017.

Have you served on any other Town boards or committees besides that one? I was the Finance Committee representative on the Contract Review Committee for two years.

What interests you about serving in the Town that makes you want to be involved? The feeling of connection you get when you actively participate in your community outside of your own household or work. When Melissa Murphy and Jennifer Cohen started WE CAN (Women Engaged in Civic Action on Nantucket) I attended the first meeting and heard Joanna Roche, Jean Grimmer and Dawn Hill Holdgate speak about their civic service. Listening to their stories inspired me to get involved. Shortly after, when the application deadline for Town Committees came up, I applied and was appointed to Finance Committee.

What is the most rewarding part about serving? There are three parts. First: meeting all the people I’ve met through working on Finance Committee. I would not have met them otherwise and my life on Nantucket is definitely richer because of it. Second: learning, learning and more learning. My career has been working for big multi-national corporations in a variety of roles, mostly finance-oriented. Municipal finance is different and I’ve learned so much from Brian Turbitt, the Town’s Finance Director; David Worth, when he was chair of Finance Committee; and my fellow Finance Committee members. And third: being able to contribute to the financial decisions made by the Town of Nantucket based on my many years of experience in the corporate environment.

What is the most challenging part? The same that faces everyone everywhere: more work than time.

If you could change one thing about Town government, what would it be? More civic engagement. We are all much better off when every voice is heard. To that end, I think holding Town meetings on Zoom actually gives more people more opportunities to participate, so if there’s one good thing about Zoom meetings, it’s this.

What is your favorite spot on Nantucket? Walking the streets in Town and imagining life as it was when the old buildings were built.

Which of the following do you think would attract more voters to Town Meeting?

  1. E-voting
  2. Having a Mime help out with the microphones
  3. Your idea(s)

Good snacks? No, just kidding. Hard to say and if it was easy to do I am sure the Town would have done it already. I think e-voting helps.

Thank you for dedicating your time to volunteer for the Town, Denice!

Efforts to Increase Year-Round Housing

Nantucket's Housing Survey: We want to hear from you!

In conjunction with the update of our Housing Production Plan, we are most interested in hearing your thoughts.

Community Resiliency

Resilient Nantucket: Designs for Adaptation

Resilient Nantucket: Designs for Adaptation, is developing a public awareness toolkit incorporating information on flooding adaptation strategies for private property owners in the Nantucket National Historical Landmark District, developing Design Guidelines for the Town of Nantucket’s locally-designated historic districts, and hosting Resilient Nantucket workshop to address flood risk, public awareness strategies and design guidance for adapting historic districts to a future of flooding. This project addresses several priority implementation actions identified and documented in the Town’s recently completed documents: the MVP Community Resilience Workshop Report (2019) and the Hazard Mitigation Plan (2019).

Start date: July 2019 | End date: June 2021 | Owner: Town of Nantucket | Funding source: State MVP Grant

Nantucket Historical Commission (NHC) & Historic District Commission (HDC) Apply to Massachusetts Historical Commission for Certification

The Town of Nantucket, through the Nantucket Historical Commission (NHC) and the Historic District Commission (HDC), is applying to the Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC) to become a Certified Local Government, a program under the National Park Service. This certification was created "to help communities save the irreplaceable historic character of places" and allow communities to "make a commitment to historic preservation." The certification will also provide the Town with additional MHC staff assistance, and continued commitment to sustainability of our historic community. In addition, under the Federal Historic Preservation Fund, the Massachusetts Historical Commission is required to provide 10% of its funding to its state Certified Local Governments (CLGs.) Staff believes this certification will show the Town's continued commitment to Historic Preservation, which is outlined in the Select Board's Strategic Plan.

Envision Resilience Nantucket Challenge

With the goal of inspiring Nantucket and other coastal communities around the world to envision innovative adaptations to sea level rise, the Envision Resilience Nantucket Challenge brings together graduate students from five universities to collaboratively re-imagine the Nantucket waterfront. During a spring 2021 design studio, interdisciplinary teams of students will identify threats, research possible solutions and consider ways the community can adapt to sea level rise. They will also be considering the unique Nantucket ecologies, culture, history and ways of life. The studio and resulting design proposals are not to be prescriptive, but rather an exercise in academic thinking.

Students will have access to 24 local advisors as well as weekly virtual lectures from experts in the field, which will be recorded and available to the public each week. Final proposals will be presented to the community at an event this summer, virtually or in-person—restrictions considering. Student proposals will be on exhibit at the Thomas Macy Warehouse through December 2021.

Start date: July 2020 | End date: December 2021 | Owner: ReMain Nantucket | Funding source: ReMain Nantucket

Coastal Resilience Plan

The Town's Coastal Resilience Plan aims to reduce the impacts of coastal flooding, erosion and sea level rise.

Climate change presents an urgent and pressing crisis for Nantucket. Developing a Coastal Resilience Plan is a critical step in the Town and County of Nantucket’s process of preparing for and adapting to the effects of climate change, which include increasingly intense and frequent coastal flooding, erosion, and future sea level rise.

The plan will analyze risks to the island's homes and businesses, public infrastructure, economy, civic spaces, and historic and natural resources, and propose location-specific interventions for reducing long-term risks and increasing resilience, as well as provide a recommended implementation roadmap. The process will build on prior and ongoing studies led by the Town, including the Hazard Mitigation Plan (2019).

Start date: September 2020 | End date: September 2021 | Owner: Town of Nantucket | Funding source: Town funding

Coastal Resilience Plan Virtual Open House - Today, January 28, at 5:30 PM!

Culture & Tourism: Winter Activities

Historic Walking Tour Revision and Walking Tour Maps

During the summer of 2020, there were limited guided tours available to visitors. The Visitor Services staff handed out hundreds of copies of a brochure titled, “Nantucket Historic Walking Tour.” In fact, the office depleted its supply. The self-guided tour contained in the brochure is an introduction to the architecture and history of the homes along upper Main, Milk, Vestal, Howard, Gardner and Liberty streets beginning and ending at the Pacific National Bank. It also features information about some of the monuments and artifacts along the route. In a collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce, Nantucket Historical Association, and Nantucket Preservation Trust, and assistance from the Maria Mitchell Association, the Department oversaw a revision and reprinting of the brochure which hadn’t been updated since 2012. We expect to receive copies of the revised brochure in early February and recommend this very interesting walk along some of Nantucket’s storied streets. Copies of the brochure will also be available at our partners’ locations.

In addition, Visitor Services also has maps that follow the footsteps of Maria Mitchell, document the places where Frederick Douglass visited during his trips to Nantucket, and feature buildings relevant to Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. And, if you’re up for a ride to Sconset, we have a beautifully drawn map of Sconset Village including information about the Sconset Trust’s Ruddick Commons walking area. There are lots of different lenses from which to view Nantucket!

Nantucket Cultural District Calendar of Activities

The C&T website now has a button featuring the calendar of activities taking place in the Nantucket Cultural District - and beyond. Some of the activities are offered by non-profits and some are taking place in businesses. For one-stop shopping to see what’s going on in the District and beyond, check out the button on the website visitnantucketisland.org. If you have something to add to the calendar please send an email to NCD@nantucket-ma.gov.

Energy Office

Green Community Grant Funding to Expand Public EV-Charging Stations & to Increase Energy Efficiency

In April 2020, the Town of Nantucket received an initial grant of $139,340 from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Department of Energy Resources by becoming a Massachusetts Green Community.

This designation was achieved by the Town of Nantucket last January by demonstrating a firm commitment to reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, such as through the adoption of the more stringent Energy Stretch Code, requiring the Town purchase only fuel-efficient vehicles, and producing an Energy Reduction Plan.

These grant funds have allowed the Town to make energy efficiency improvements to the Nantucket High School and Visitor Services building this past fall, as well to install new electric vehicle charging stations across the island, which are now ready for public use.

From the IT (Information & Technology) Department

January 28 is Data Privacy Day!

This is a global effort to generate awareness about the importance of data privacy. This day began in Canada and the United States in January 2008 and has since been extended to Europe. This year’s theme is “Own Your Privacy”:

  • Personal Info is like money: Value It. Protect It. Think carefully before sharing personal information with businesses and social media contacts. Personal info is valuable so weigh the benefits to you before sharing.
  • Keep tabs on your apps. Apps often request access to personal information such as your locations, contacts list and photos before you can use their service. Consider carefully how much of this information you are willing to share, keep your apps updated and delete them if you are no longer using them.
  • Manage your privacy settings. Review your privacy and security settings for web services and apps that you use. Set them to a level that you are comfortable with.
  • If you collect it, protect it. If you have access to confidential Town data, be sure to follow the Town Computer Use Policy. Protect this data by being vigilant when using your Town computer devices. Never share your password, lock your screen every time you leave your desk, use a secure password and think before you click any links embedded in email messages.

Public Works Updates

Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) for Solid Waste Management

The Town of Nantucket recently released a Request for Expressions of Interest, or RFEI, for its Solid Waste Management. Our contract with the Town's current vendor, Waste Options Nantucket, expires in November 2025 and includes operation of the Recycling Center, co-Composter facility, Construction and Demolition Debris (C&D) Transfer Station, and Landfill.

To assess who might be interested in managing the Town's solid waste in the future, and how they might do that, the Town invited interested potential vendors to submit a non-binding proposal in response to this RFEI.

The Town of Nantucket will develop a final procurement package, to identify its next solid waste management vendor(s) based on these RFEI responses.

Textile Reuse & Recycling at TIOLI

Winter Tips from the Fire Department

Heating caused 6,692 fires over the past five years and is the number two cause of home fires in Massachusetts.

Use your home heating system and space heating appliances wisely and responsibly. That’s the way to Keep Warm and Keep Safe.

The ABCs of Fire Safety:

  • Make sure there are working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms on every level including one outside the bedrooms.
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms monthly and change batteries twice a year, when you change the clocks.
  • Hold home fire drills to practice the home escape plan.
  • Practice home fire safety and set a good example for the children.
Thank you for reading the Town of Nantucket Monthly e-News. We hope you enjoyed it!
Town of Nantucket - 16 Broad Street Nantucket, MA 02554

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Public Outreach Manager Florencia Rullo