Green-Beach, Balboni win O.B. seats

Only contested race is for two open seats on select board in O.B.; West Tisbury has no contested races.


Updated 7:30 pm 

Newcomer Emma Green-Beach and incumbent Jason Balboni won the two open seats on the Oak Bluffs select board, edging out Rich Michelson at the polls Thursday in the Island’s only contested race.

Green-Beach, in her first select board bid, was the top vote getter, with 555 votes. Balboni came in second with 406 votes, followed by Michelson, who received 259 votes, according to the unofficial results.

A total of 714 voters cast their votes Thursday

In West Tisbury, 97 out of 2,675 registered voters — 3.6 percent — cast votes for an election comprised entirely of uncontested seats, according to unofficial results.

Incumbent town clerk Tara Whiting-Wells was the top vote getter, with a tally of 96. Incumbent select board member Jeff (“Skipper”) Manter was re-elected with 75 votes. 

Green-Beach, a newcomer to Oak Bluffs town office, said she was inspired by the outpouring of support. “It’s been incredible, the responses I’ve gotten have been really amazing,” Green-Beach said.

Balboni congratulated his competitors, and said it was time to get to work. “I’m happy to serve voters of Oak Bluffs for another three years,” Balboni said. “It’s great.”

Balboni and Green-Beach congratulated each other and Michelson for running their races.

Michelson congratulated the winners, but added there was some controversy with his campaign signs being stolen. “I ran the best candidacy I could,” Michelson said. “I wish them well.”

There were no other contested races in Oak Bluffs. Erik Albert was re-elected to the planning board, Antone Lima was re-elected to the parks commission, Jesse (“Jack”) Law III was re-elected to the cemetery commission and as town moderator, William White was re-elected to the board of health, Maura McGroarty was re-elected to the finance and advisory committee, Kristine O’Brien was re-elected to the school committee, and Nelson Oliver was re-elected to the water district commission. There was one nonincumbent, Cassandra Bowler, who was elected to the wastewater commission.

Two capital exclusion ballot questions for the town’s share of projects at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School passed. The first was for $183,572.57 for technology infrastructure, and the second was $73,128.65 for the town’s share of purchasing electric school buses. Both are capital exclusions.

Balboni, the current chair of the town’s executive board, won a second term, having first been elected in 2018. Balboni ran Balboni Appliance Service in Oak Bluffs, and has served on the town’s finance and advisory committee and personnel board.

Green-Beach is a shellfish biologist, and the executive director of the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group. She is a former Martha’s Vineyard Vision Fellow.

Michelson last ran for the select board in 2018, but was third in voting behind Greg Coogan, who is not seeking re-election, and Balboni. He is a former EMT and a former Martha’s Vineyard Airport Commission member.

The town election is being held ahead of annual town meeting in Oak Bluffs, due to the ongoing pandemic. The town will hold its annual town meeting on May 15 at noon at the Tabernacle.

In West Tisbury, Dan Waters returned as town moderator with 87 votes, Gregory Orcutt returned to the finance committee with 81 votes, Catherine Minkiewicz joined the finance committee with 72 votes, and Timothy Barnett returned to the board of health with 86 votes.

West Tisbury will hold its annual town meeting May 18 at the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs. The meeting begins at 5 pm and a special town meeting begins 10 minutes earlier at 4:50 pm. 


  1. We have nearly 4,000 registered voters and only 714 of them showed up. If you can’t take the time to vote, you can’t take the time to complain.

  2. If you consider both candidates to be essentially equally attractive, or revolting, then not voting is not a sin.

    The 2016 and 2020 Presidential elections come to mind, with the emphasis on revolting, with all other things being equal.

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