The occasional cheer and claps could be heard on Thursday evening as the results of the Oak Bluffs town election were announced.
Dion Alley and Tom Hallahan emerged victorious in the three-way election race as the newest members of the five-person select board.
The two candidates will be taking the select board seats of Ryan Ruley and Brian Packish, who did not seek re-election. Dion Alley got 427 votes, and Tom Hallahan 404 votes. Mark Leonard fell short, with 356 votes. Select board seats have three-year terms.
Several election candidates and their supporters were wielding campaign signs and waving to voters driving by outside the Oak Bluffs library. A total of 741 votes were cast, with some residents turning up at the last few minutes to vote before the polls closed at 7 pm.
“It feels really good to win, and I appreciate all of the support that the townspeople have shown me, and the faith they’ve put in me to help carry the town forward,” Alley said.
Alley listed several issues he would like to focus on now that he is a select board member, including wastewater concerns, harbor improvements, and the renovation of Matha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS), among others.
“I think we have a lot of things to prioritize on,” he said. “We’ve got to make sure we’re really investing in the town.”
Another contested race in Oak Bluffs was one seat on the planning board, which Sean Patrick Debettencourt won with 401 votes. Robert Fehl received 159 votes. Planning board seats have five-year terms. “I’m just really looking forward to serving the great people of Oak Bluffs and moving the town forward in a positive direction for the next several years,” Debettencourt said
The rest of the open positions in Oak Bluffs were uncontested, all of which have three-year terms. Colleen Morris received 651 votes for the town clerk position, Thomas Zinno received 559 votes for the board of health seat, John Victor Tiernan received 537 votes for the cemetery commission seat, Amy K. Billings received 594 votes for the parks commission seat, Kathryn Shertzer received 492 votes for the school committee seat, Sherry Countryman and Richard Weiss won 455 votes and 450 votes respectively for the finance and advisory committee seats, Gail Barmakian received 472 votes as water commissioner, Maura McGroarty received 566 votes as constable, Raymond Moreis Jr. got 570 votes for the water district commission seat.
Voters also had six ballot questions to consider during the election.
For the first ballot question, voters voted 492–201 to allow Oak Bluffs to use a Proposition 2½ debt exclusion to fund the high school’s feasibility study on the building’s renovation or replacement.
On the second ballot question, voters voted 463–235 to allow the town to assess an additional $250,000 in real estate and personal property taxes during the next fiscal year, which starts on July 1, to fund improvements and repairs for the Harbor East Chop public bulkhead.
For the third question, voters voted 391–297 to allow the town to assess an additional $200,000 in real estate and personal property taxes during the next fiscal year to acquire a highway replacement loader.
On the fourth question, voters voted 516–171 to use a Proposition 2½ debt exclusion to fund the second phase of the Farm Pond culvert replacement project.
For the fifth question, voters voted 490–203 to use a Proposition 2½ debt exclusion to fund the “East Chop Drive Resilient Infrastructure/EC Bluff Revetment” project, which consists of stabilizing and mitigating further damage to East Chop Bluff and increasing accessibility to the area.
And on the sixth question, voters voted 516–181 to use a Proposition 2½ debt exclusion to fund the design and engineering for parts one and two of wastewater plant improvements and improvements to the downtown sidewalks and infrastructure.