The Up-Island Council on Aging board met to discuss planning and priorities Monday, the first in-person meeting since the body was reconstituted following a review of the board’s internal bylaws.

High on the list of priorities for the board will be the replacement of longtime director Joyce Albertine, who announced this week that she plans to retire in May of 2024.

“If these bodies are still in place, it will be your task to hire my successor,” Ms Albertine, who worked at the council for nearly 40 years, said at the meeting this week. “The best part about being here…is that we can create just about any program possible.”

Council administrative assistant Jennie Gadowski spoke highly of Ms. Albertine’s impact. “We are a family in here,” she said. “Joyce has been the most phenomenal teacher.”

Ms. Albertine’s retirement announcement comes at a time of flux for the council on aging, based in the Howes House in West Tisbury. 

Plans to renovate and upgrade the mid-19th-century building in the heart of the West Tisbury historic district were put on hold this summer, following pushback from the historic district commission and resistance from Chilmark and Aquinnah on committing funds for an estimated $10 million project.

After putting the project on hold, the West Tisbury select board shifted their focus to the council's governing board. Several representatives were found to be serving in violation of an internal board bylaw disallowing more than two consecutive terms, and were removed from the board.

The Chilmark, Aquinnah and West Tisbury select board have each appointed one of their members as an interim representative on the council on aging board. 

“We have our work cut out for us,” said West Tisbury select board member Cynthia Mitchell, at the board meeting on Monday. Ms. Mitchell outlined a long list of priorities for the board, including a review of its internal bylaws, finding a new director and restarting the renovation project.

“There needs to be a group…to kind of guide the planning, and the process itself of renovating, or not, this building,” she said. 

The board inaugurated two subcommittees to begin work on these projects, with Chilmark representative Marie Larsen chairing the bylaws subcommittee and West Tisbury representative Beth Kramer chairing the planning and facilities subcommittee. 

Ms. Mitchell was elected chair of the council on aging board. 

The board will meet again on Dec. 4.