Irked at property owners who do not keep their walks shoveled after snowstorms, Tisbury selectmen are considering a tougher approach for next winter.

At the selectmen’s meeting Tuesday, board chairman Tristan Israel said he had noticed several places downtown where the sidewalks were not cleared after the last snowstorm. He said the problem has been ongoing for years.

“Obviously we can’t enforce the whole town, I wish we could, we have trouble with enforcement now,” Mr. Israel said. “The bottom line is we want an area that is accessible to people, and we have limited funds in town, but we need to develop some ideas on how were going to go about this differently than what we have done in the past, because it’s just not working.”

Selectman Melinda Loberg agreed, noting that property owners should either shovel walkways themselves, pay someone to do it or pay the town to do it.

Roads are plowed but sidewalks are another story. — Mark Lovewell

One idea is to have the town department of public works clear sidewalks and then charge property owners, Mr. Israel said.

A Tisbury town bylaw requires that sidewalks be shoveled within four hours after snow stops falling, or by 11 o’clock the next morning if the storm is at night. Violators are subject to fines.

Mrs. Loberg said she had also heard complaints about maintenance of state-owned roads.

Town administrator John (Jay) Grande said that poses a different problem since the town has no jurisdiction over state roads.

“These areas we try and encourage pedestrian-safe travel,” he said, adding: “Next season, this has to be resolved.”

Josh Goldstein, whose family owns the Mansion House, spoke in support of stricter enforcement.

“I’d love to see you levy substantial fines on property owners who perpetually and habitually do not clear their sidewalks,” he said “I would really like to see some serious work on behalf of the town to clear the roads, so my guests can walk around, so my staff can get to the post office. You can’t get to the post office from Mansion House without walking in the street. We’re talking about what, thirty yards? Fifty yards?”

Mr. Israel asked that a proposal be developed by June for next winter. Meanwhile, for the rest of the winter, selectmen will ask the DPW to clear unshoveled sidewalks downtown as much as possible.

In other business, the selectmen signed an agreement with the Massachusetts School Building Authority, completing the first in a series of steps during the initial stage of the grant program that may lead to financial and planning assistance for the Tisbury School building.

The selectmen also appointed assistant DPW director Tom Mello as tree warden.