Chilmark voters will go to the polls at the Chilmark Community Center on Wednesday, from 12 noon to 8 pm, for the annual town election. The votes cast could send the Martha’s Vineyard housing bank, which needs the full support of four Island towns, to the state legislature. Three towns, Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, and West Tisbury, have fully passed the home rule petition. Tisbury passed it at its annual town meeting, but an unusual gap between town meeting and Tisbury’s annual town election on May 24 means that town meeting vote isn’t ratified. Four towns must agree to the housing bank for it to move to the legislature for consideration. Chilmark is poised to be the fourth town if voters endorse the town meeting approval once more at the ballot box.
Voters will also be asked to weigh in on two Proposition 2½ debt exclusions. One of them, according to town administrator Tim Carroll, seeks to ratify an extra $1.3 million in funds recently approved at a special town meeting for the $12.6 million fire station and Tri-Town Ambulance headquarters project. The other debt exclusion concerns a new HVAC system for the Chilmark School. The principal sum requested is $950,000, according to treasurer Dawn Barnes. Barnes said the figure was voted in at a special town meeting in November 2021. Carroll previously said the two figures aren’t included on the ballot because of state statute. He also said the HVAC figure doesn’t include interest, or the timeframe costs associated with paying the interest.
Select board chair Jim Malkin is running unopposed for another three-year term. No candidates appear on the ballot for a three-year seat on the cemetery commission. Additionally, no candidates are listed for a one-year or a three-year position as surveyor of wood, lumber, and bark, or for a three-year seat for fence viewer. No one is listed as a candidate for town treasurer, either. However, the select board hired former West Tisbury principal assessor Dawn Barnes as the town’s new treasurer over the winter. A question on the ballot seeks to transform the position of treasurer from elected to appointed. That transition was already approved at town meeting.