Chilmark town moderator Everett H. Poole will bang the gavel Monday night, and town voters will consider the question of parties.
A special town meeting is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Chilmark Community Center, and the 17-article warrant includes a proposal to limit the excessive use of private homes for commercial weddings.
Voters will also consider requests for $25,000 to dredge Menemsha harbor, $8,000 for exterior repairs to the old Menemsha School and $45,000 to hire a planner for an affordable housing project on Middle Line Road.
But the talk of the town is a proposed bylaw that would require anyone hosting a wedding or other function with more than 25 people to obtain a permit from selectmen.
The proposed bylaw came about after months of discussion among town officials over how to regulate the proliferation of large weddings in rented private homes.
At their regular meeting Tuesday night, two of the three selectmen said they had concerns about the bylaw. Board chairman Warren Doty said he will move to have the article indefinitely postponed.
Chilmark building inspector Leonard Jason Jr. told the board he has his own concerns about the article; Mr. Jason said he thought there must be a better way to restrict the use of private homes for commercial business.
Mr. Doty said he was not happy with the article at all.
Jane Slater, a town resident who attended the meeting, said she fears that the proposal will divide the community.
Mr. Doty asked the other board members to support his move to indefinitely postpone the article, but there was no second.
"We have one problem in town that needs to be solved. We should not subject restrictions on every resident in town. A lot of people are against this," Mr. Doty said after the meeting.
On Monday night voters will also be asked to approve the creation of a personnel officer in the town hall.
Mr. Doty said yesterday he opposes the idea. " I think it adds foolishly to town hall bureaucracy. We don't need a personnel director. We should solve our problems with the staff we have," he said.
A planning board initiative to hire a planner at a cost of $45,000 is aimed at facilitating a rental housing project on town-owned property on Middle Line Road.
At the selectmen's meeting Tuesday, the board also approved the new tax rate for the coming year. The tax rate will be $1.96 per $1,000 of valuation. Assistant assessor Pam Bunker said the tax rate for last year was $1.83; the new rate represents an increase of 13 cents.
Mrs. Bunker said the average tax bill of $2,730 for last year will go up to $3,016 in the new year, an increase of 10 per cent. Selectmen agreed to stay with the past practice of keeping the tax rate the same for residential and commercial properties.