Former Tisbury Assistant Fire Chief Jim Rogers was elected to the Tisbury board of selectmen at the town elections Tuesday with 815 votes. He ran unopposed to succeed Larry Gomez, a one-term selectman who did not seek re-election. Rogers ran unsuccessfully for the position last year against Melinda Loberg.
Rogers, 65, retired in November after 45 years on the Tisbury Fire Department, most recently as assistant fire chief. Rogers and Kathy, his wife of 38 years, have two sons — Adam, who works for the U.S. Patent Office in Virginia, and Jeremie, a police officer in West Tisbury.
In a conversation with the Times this week, Rogers said, “One of the key elements of the job is to work with the community, to make sure you are listening. We need a comprehensive plan for the future. There are bits and pieces on the town website, but I want a comprehensive plan that allows intelligent decisionmaking, not reactive decisionmaking.”
There is a lot to be done in town. “We have a lot of infrastructure needs. Many of our town roads are in desperate need of repair, and we need a new town hall,” he said. “That may be our most pressing need.”
Rogers pointed to planning for improvements to the Beach Road corridor and seawall as an example of infrastructure that needs work. Getting stakeholders involved and listening to their views is a key responsibility for a selectman, he said.
Several Beach Road improvement plans have been floated, including a shared use path (SUP) on Beach Road designed by Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).
“We’ve seen a couple of different plans; one is at the Martha’s Vineyard Commission now,” Rogers said. “A number of property owners are concerned that the plans are not effective. We need a plan that doesn’t just work for the state but that works for the community and stakeholders.”