For 90 per cent of its duration, Tuesday’s Tisbury special town meeting went almost impossibly smoothly for town officials. But they fell at the last hurdle.

As is so often the case in Tisbury, the bone of contention was dog laws. Specifically, an article proposing penalties for breaches of a town policy prohibiting dogs from municipal buildings. It provided for a written warning for a first offense, and a $25 fine for every subsequent offense.

By the luck of the draw — the order in which articles are considered is decided by chance in Tisbury — the penalties question was last of the 14 items for consideration.

And it might have been over quickly. The chairman of the selectmen, Tristan Israel, proposed that no action be taken on the proposal, so they could think the matter over further.

But two things happened to turn the mood of the meeting against the selectmen: animal control officer Laurie Clements rose to speak strongly against their move, and resident Margaret Wolontis rose to speak for it.

Ms. Clements, obviously frustrated at the proposal to abandon her modest penalty plan, kicked the debate off with a blunt assertion that she had “hit a cement wall” on the matter of enforcing the dog ban.

“I won’t be able to enforce this, is the bottom line,” she said.

Ms. Wolontis then chimed in with a rambling contribution to the debate.

She said she was “very grateful to Tristan” for suggesting a postponement of consideration. She spoke at length about the importance of being able to take one’s animal companion to town.

There were chuckles and murmurs in the audience.

The suggestion came from the floor that it might be better to approve the proposed penalties first and change them later if the selectmen came up with a better idea.

Mr. Israel spoke again, saying he just wanted to see a “friendly town.” Some people were very attached to their dogs, and did not want to have to leave them in their cars.

“We have rules and regulations for everything,” he said.

Ms. Clements came back, saying that while she would not name any names, some dogs had repeatedly bitten people.

“But, if that’s what you want . . .” she finished ominously.

Eugene Decosta stirred the pot with a query about whether he could bring his pit bull in.

Mr. Israel said the problem was not with pit bulls, but with the people who owned them.

And Ms. Wolontis rejoined the fray, saying dogs could die left in hot cars in summer. She said it was not fair to punish all dogs for what some did. “For me, it’s cruel and unusual punishment,” she said.

The discussion rolled on. The woman whose child was scared of dogs, Ms. Clements’s rejoinder to Ms. Wolontis that people could just leave their dogs home in summer.

Selectman Geoghan Coogan jumped up to try to contain the debate, noting that dogs already were prohibited from municipal buildings, and that this was just a discussion of penalties.

And so it went to the vote, and a strong majority backed Ms. Clements.

Otherwise, though, Tuesday’s meeting was quick and easy. Most articles won unanimous support, many without even discussion.

The biggest item on the agenda, seeking final approval for the building of a new connector road between the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road and State Road, took some time due to a presentation from the planning board and design consultants, and a few questions. But it met little opposition, and passed with a strong majority.

A proposal to begin work on obtaining an easement for a new path which would allow cyclists and pedestrians to avoid the dangers of the Five Corners intersection also provoked some questioning and discussion, but in the end, there was overwhelming support.

It also brought a rare comic turn from the town building and zoning inspector, Kenneth Barwick, who noted that part of the proposed route went along Lagoon Pond Road, which is subject to flooding.

He suggested the town do something to mitigate the flooding problem, which would reduce the danger to motorists as well as users of the path. “The Canal street sign could be taken down. The no lifeguard on duty sign could be taken down,” he said.

The meeting also came up against one legal issue. Article six sought approval for an easement for NStar and Verizon to provide services to some affordable housing units on Lambert’s Cove Road.

But it emerged that the property in question had already been transferred to the Island Housing Trust. How could the town give approval for an easement on land it no longer owned?

Advice was sought from town counsel David Doneski. His answer, in essence, was that it couldn’t hurt for the meeting to give its approval, and it duly did.

If there was one thing less apparently popular among those at the special town meeting than snappy dogs in town hall, it was the communications company Comcast.

This was shown when the director of the Department of Public Works, Fred LaPiana, was speaking in support of an article which would give GPCS Fiber Communications Inc. a utility easement to install an underground utility vault in the parking lot at Tashmoo Beach, where it plans to bring a new fiber-optic cable ashore.

Mr. LaPiana billed this as a “major decision on your part,” because it would provide high-speed access to the Island, and provide competition to Comcast, which otherwise would “basically have a monopoly on the Island.”

The news was received with applause, and the article passed unanimously.

In all, it took the meeting little over an hour to approve everything on the warrant.