Martha’s Vineyard Commission ballot deadline nears

The November election is still four months away, but nomination deadlines are near for nine two-year seats on the Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC).

The powerful regional permitting and planning body is legislatively vested with sweeping powers that allow it to influence development across the Island. It exercises these powers by ruling on projects designated as developments of regional impact (DRI) and approving zoning regulations for areas approved as districts of critical planning concern (DCPC).

MVC candidates are elected at large to two-year terms, but there must be at least one commission member elected from each town and no more than two from any one town.

For example, if the candidates with the three highest vote totals are from the same town, only two will be elected to the MVC. If a candidate with the lowest vote total overall were the only candidate from that town, he or she would be elected.

The MVC has 21 members. Vineyard voters elect nine in Island-wide elections held every two years, Martha’s Vineyard selectmen appoint six, the Dukes County Commission appoints one, and the governor appoints five, of whom four do not vote on DRIs or DCPCs.

Nomination papers and instructions are available at the MVC office and town halls. Candidates for the MVC must collect ten signatures from registered voters only. Nomination papers are due in town clerks’ offices for certification of signatures no later than 5 pm, Tuesday, July 27.

After certification by the Board of Registrars, nomination papers must be collected by the candidate and submitted to the Secretary of State by 5 pm, Tuesday, August 24, along with a receipt from the State Ethics Commission showing that the candidate has filed a statement of financial interest. Contact local town clerks for more information.

The current elected commissioners are: John Breckenridge of Oak Bluffs; Christina Brown of Edgartown; Peter Cabana of Tisbury; Chris Murphy of Chilmark; Katherine Newman of Aquinnah; Douglas Sederholm of Chilmark; Linda Sibley of West Tisbury; Holly Stephenson of Tisbury; and Andrew Woodruff of West Tisbury.