Tisbury voters re-elect Jeff Kristal by 12 votes

Jeff Kristal — Photo by Steve Myrick

Tisbury voters went to the polls Tuesday, April 26 and re-elected Jeff Kristal selectman. Mr. Kristal won a second term by a mere 12 votes. The count was 461 to 449.

The election was a rematch of the fierce battle three years ago. In the April 2008 contest Mr. Kristal beat then three-term incumbent Tom Pachico by 14 votes, 679 to 665.

The ballot also included two Proposition 2.5 override questions. Voters said no twice.

In a brief telephone conversation not long after town clerk Marion Mudge announced the election results, Mr. Kristal said he was grateful to all the voters who cast ballots.

Mr. Kristal said he thinks voters understood the issues. A key element in his victory he said was the support of longtime Tisbury residents who understood the gains that have been made and turned out to vote.

“I want to thank everyone for coming out and voting and for supporting me and what the current board has been doing for the last few years,” he said. “I look forward to getting back to doing the good work that we have been doing.”

Asked to comment on the results, in a telephone call Wednesday Mr. Pachico was gracious in defeat. “Congratulations to the other side,” Mr. Pachico said. “They worked hard. I’m sorry for my supporters that we couldn’t have done better, and I thank them all for their support.”

Despite the close vote, Mr. Pachico said he was not interested in a recount. He noted the accuracy of electronic ballot counters and the cost. “I’m not going to subject the taxpayers to paying for a recount,” he said.

There were no other contests in Tuesday’s election.

Questions follow questions

Question one asked voters to allow the town to assess $85,000 more in real estate and personal property taxes to fund anticipated collective bargaining and employment wage and contract agreements for the next fiscal year. Voters said no by a vote of 492 to 397.

Had the question passed, the town would be able to negotiate with funds already approved, Tisbury treasurer and tax collector Tim McLean said on Wednesday.

Instead, Mr. McLean said, “It just means when we do come to a settlement, we will have to go back to town meeting to get funding, whether it’s an override or some other funding source.”

Question two asked voter approval to assess an additional $100,000 more in real estate and personal property taxes to begin funding part of Tisbury’s cost for other post-employment benefits. Voters overwhelmingly said no by a vote of 532 to 350.

Although a policy to assess at least $100,000 in additional funding for OPEB each year was approved at Tisbury’s April 12 special town meeting, Mr. McLean said the funding is subject to approval annually at town meeting.

A total of 929 voters cast ballots, or 32 percent of the town’s 2,990 registered voters.

No contest

Voters elected Arthur D. Smith (622), Sandra Johnson-Pratt (684) and Marilyn Wortman (691) to three-year terms on the library board. With no one on the ballot for a one-year term, George Balco was elected as a write-in to a one-year library trustee position.

Voters elected Deborah Medders, moderator (768); Marion Mudge, town clerk (800); Roy Cutrer, assessor (718); David Schwab, water commissioner (761); Thomas Robinson, Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank commissioner (725); L. Anthony “Tony” Peak, planning board five years (699) ; Jeffrey E. Thompson, planning board one year (661); Janet Packer, school committee (738); Larry Gomez (630), Jynell Kristal (588) and Mary Ellen Larsen (715) to three-year terms on the finance committee; and Leo DeSorcy (685) and David Ferraguzzi (647) to the public works commission.