Tisbury voters make it selectman Denys Wortman
In the hotly contested selectman's race in Tisbury's election Tuesday, Denys Wortman emerged the victor among five candidates vying for one seat, winning with 399 of the 728 votes cast.
"I really wanted to get over 50 percent of the vote, which I thought was a real stretch, but it happened," Mr. Wortman said yesterday. "It's nice to have that kind of support, to have a real strong vote behind you."
The other candidates for selectman and their votes were Jamie Douglas (104), George Balco (89), Nancy Hall (88), Jared Meader (46), and write-ins (2).
In other election results, David Willoughby was re-elected to a three-year term on the finance advisory committee (451), along with newcomers Melinda Loberg (454) and Jonathan Snyder (404).
Among write-in candidates, Nancy Hall won 35 votes, followed by Peter Hefler (27), George Balco (15), and Peter Duart (13). Ms. Hall will fill the fourth FinCom vacancy.
Mr. Wortman resigned from his FinCom position yesterday, following his election. After the selectmen notify the public about the vacancy, the FinCom slot will be filled by a joint appointment of the remaining members of the committee and the selectmen.
In a four-way contest for three three-year seats on the board of library trustees, Nan Carter (460), Barbara Lewis Howell (420), Ann Merry Metcalf (346) topped Anna Marie D'Addarie (246). Anne Lucas (516) ran unopposed for a one-year term.
Candidates running unopposed in other races included Mark Campos (517) and Remo Fullin (532) for another three-year term as constable; David Dandridge (542) for another three-year term as assessor; James Pringle (549) for another three-year term on the board of health; Robert Tankard (588) for another three-year term on the school committee; Ralph Packer (562) for another three-year term as a water commissioner; Anthony Peak (543) for another five-year term on the planning board; and Arthur Dickson (545) and John Thayer (644), who was the day's top vote-getter, for another three-year term as public works commissioners.
Election officials said turnout started out strong but dropped off by early evening, with 734 out of the town's 2,709 registered voters, about 27 percent, participating.
Voters also approved a Proposition 2.5 override, 459-214, to fund an underground wiring project on Union Street.
Mr. Wortman's election brings a new dynamic to the board, where he will serve with Tristan Israel, a landscaper and selectman of 12 years, and Tom Pachico, a Tisbury board of health employee and selectman of seven years.
The president of Martha's Vineyard Community Television (MVTV), Mr. Wortman was raised in Tisbury and graduated from Tisbury High School in 1956. After college, he worked as an investment broker in Boston for 40 years. He and his wife Marilyn repurchased his childhood home on Hines Point in 1996.
Since returning to Tisbury, Mr. Wortman has served for five years on Tisbury's finance and advisory committee, two years on the revenue enhancement board, one year on the capital programs board, and one year on the Spring Building preservation committee. He currently serves on the boards of Featherstone Center for the Arts and Tisbury Waterways (TWI).
"Tisbury is a town that I really love, having grown up here," Mr. Wortman said. "I truly, truly care about the town. I have no personal agenda. I just want to do all I can to really help the town - that's the bottom line."
On election day, Mr. Wortman and the other candidates spent a long, cold, and windy day standing near the polling place greeting voters. "I stood out there from noon to eight. I wanted to squirt some WD-40 in my knees and hips to loosen me up a bit when I got home," Mr. Wortman said with a laugh.
With his victory in his second bid for selectman (he ran four years ago), Mr. Wortman fills a position left vacant when selectman chairman Raymond LaPorte decided not to seek reelection.
After the polls closed Tuesday at the American Legion Hall, and the results were confirmed around 8:10 pm. Town clerk Marion Mudge swore Mr. Wortman in as selectman, right then and there. As his first order of business in his new position, he said he called Mr. LaPorte to tell him, "You're really off the hook."
Mr. Wortman's first selectmen's meeting takes place next Tuesday night at town hall. He expects one of his first tasks will be helping to choose a new police chief.
"I hope I can live up to my own expectations," Mr. Wortman concluded.