Do you hear the call to serve?


The days are getting longer, and while spring is still a lot of cold nights and winter nor’easters away, it’s time to warm up to the idea of running for town offices this spring.

All across the Island, nomination periods have opened up for town elections. Nomination papers are available, and can be picked up from your local town clerk. Get the necessary signatures, turn them back in, and you’re on the ballot. It’s as simple as that.

We’d love to see robust elections in all of the towns — and there are signs of that happening.

We’re seeing new faces running in Edgartown and Oak Bluffs. We’d love to see more.

Some town offices require a bigger commitment than others. And there are some that require more expertise, such as the planning board. Go to town hall. Ask questions. Take a chance.

Here’s a rundown of which positions are available, and when you need to file nomination papers to seek them:


The town election is scheduled for April 14, and nominations are currently open. Papers are due back in the clerk’s office by Feb. 25. Here’s a list of the town offices that are up for grabs: moderator, town clerk, constable, selectman, assessor, board of health, school committee, water commissioner, planning board, two library trustees, finance and advisory committee, and Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank.


In Edgartown, the election is April 16. Nominations are open, and close on Feb. 27. The following seats are on the ballot: selectman, assessor, board of health, planning board, school committee, two library trustees, parks commissioner, wastewater commissioner, water commissioner, and financial advisory committee.

Oak Bluffs

In Oak Bluffs, nominations are open through Feb. 27 for the town election on April 16. Along with two selectman seats, Oak Bluffs voters will cast ballots for town clerk, board of health, park commissioner, cemetery commissioner, constable, school committee, two finance and advisory committee members, planning board, wastewater commissioner, water district moderator, and two water district commissioners.

West Tisbury

The town voters go to the polls in West Tisbury on April 16. Nominations are open, and papers have to be returned by Feb. 27. The following positions are up for grabs: moderator, selectman, assessor, board of health, two library trustees, two finance committee members, two planning board members, tree warden, town clerk, constable, two parks and recreation committee members, and a Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank commissioner.


The Island’s tiniest town goes to the polls last, on May 13. The nomination period is open, and the deadline to submit nomination papers is March 25. These are the seats available: selectman, town clerk, board of health, library trustee, and two planning board members.


In Chilmark, the town election is April 29. Nominations are open, and papers are due by March 11. Voters will help to choose: selectman, assessor, board of health, library trustees, cemetery commissioner, two finance committee members, planning board, fence viewer, tree warden, and a surveyor of wood, lumber and bark.

If you’ve been thinking of running, we hope this gives you the information and the push you need to go to your town clerk’s office today to launch your candidacy. We hope that those who do decide to run will do so based on ideas and proposals, and not just personalities. We hope you’ll stop by to speak with our reporters and share your ideas (and we may share a few of our own). Good luck.