Town Council votes not to adopt clam flag
Town Council member Chris Warfel’s proposal to raise a flag bearing a quahog emblem on permitted shellfishing days was crushed by a vote of 4 to 1 at the March 19 Town Council meeting. Warfel thought that tourists and certain “to-remain-nameless” islanders often do not know the allowable shellfishing days and that a “clam flag” raised on legal shellfishing days could only help. The rest of the Town Council wasn’t buying it, though.
Second Warden Ken Lacoste asked, “What will be next, flags for Town Council meetings?”
Town Councilor Gary Ryan observed, “In that case, the flag would never be taken down.”
First Warden Kim Gaffett noted that finding the right location for the flag would be too controversial and that the Town Council had “bigger shellfish to fry.”
Town Councilor Norris Pike noted, “This is a bad idea, and haven’t we had enough of those?”
The Shellfish Commission was also not receptive to the idea. It voted unanimously to oppose the idea. Chair Hermann “Bo” Gempp summed up the commission’s opinion. “I need those clams for my award-winning chowders. They’re not just for anyone with a rake, basket and time to goof off.”
Only Clam Warden Naomi Zowiski appeared to support the concept as a cost saver. “I don’t think the Town Council appreciates how many times we have to go into the water to chase people who are clamming illegally. Every time we have to reapply sunblock and it gets to be expensive.”
Warfel later noted that since being on the Town Council he was getting used to rejection.