Oak Bluffs voters swept their incumbent leaders back into office yesterday, giving both Richard Combra and Michael Dutton fresh three-year terms on the board of selectmen.
Mr. Combra netted the most votes, 703, and Mr. Dutton came in second with 694 votes. Challenger Linda Marinelli came within 70 votes of an upset.
Mrs. Marinelli, a former selectman, received 628 votes. The newcomer, Mark Alwardt, came away with 335 votes.
Just under half the registered voters - 1,385 - turned out for election day. Town clerk Deborah Ratcliff said she expected a slightly larger showing.
"I'm pleased the voters returned both me and Michael," Mr. Combra said last night. "Some might suggest this election was an indication of the southern woodlands issue. To me, it gives us the confidence that we have the support of the community to find a resolution on that particular issue."
Neither Mr. Dutton nor Mr. Alwardt could be reached for comment last night.
But Mrs. Marinelli vowed to try again for a comeback to the town's top board. "I'm very pleased with the people who voted for me," she said. "It doesn't throw me out of the game because I'll be running against [selectman] Ken Rusczyk next year."
In other races, the big upsets came on the wastewater commission, where only one of the veterans of the previous wastewater committee, John Leite 3rd, will get to return as a wastewater commissioner.
The most surprising upset was the defeat of Fred Sonnenberg, former chairman of the committee, who was beaten by challenger Russell Rogers for a three-year term. The vote was 671 to 516. Mr. Rogers, who is also chairman of the finance committee, owns two companies that install and pump out septic systems.
Peggy Amos won a two-year term on the wastewater commission by beating Robert Iadicicco, 660-440. Mr. Iadicicco had also been a member of the previous committee.
Mr. Leite was the only former member of the wastewater committee whom voters brought back. Mr. Leite fended off two challengers, winning 567 votes for a one-year term. Mark Seward, another former committee member, came in second with 363 votes and Peter Martell was last with 307 votes.
The most crowded race was for a three-year term on the board of health. Sari Budrow won that seat handily, netting 524 votes. Her closest challenger was Peggy Amos with 353 votes. Mark Seward came in third with 216 votes, followed by Robert Schnetke with 99.
For planning board, David Wessling was elected to a one-year term, winning 423 votes. Mr. Wessling, a planner for the Martha's Vineyard Commission, beat two challengers, Tom Zinno and Frank Case 3rd. Mr. Zinno received 357 votes, and Mr. Case, 220.
The five-year term on the planning board was handed back to incumbent Ken Rose, who easily beat Phil Hughes, 701-470. Mr. Rose is a used car salesman.
The only other contested race was for cemetery commissioner. Melanie Bilodeau, a homemaker, beat James Dorsey 639-393.
In a write-in vote for school committee, voters gave their support to Priscilla Sylvia, a retired school teacher and Martha's Vineyard Land Bank commissioner. She received 218 write-in votes. Mary Ellen Guyther received 163 votes.
The following candidates were elected in uncontested races:
David Richardson, one-year term as moderator, 1,029 votes.
Deborah Ratcliff, three-year term as town clerk, 1,138 votes.
George Davis (676 votes), John Lolley (692 votes) and Robert Schnetke (715 votes), three-year terms on the finance and advisory committee.
Michael Marchand, three-year term as park commissioner, 866 votes.
Tim Dobel, two-year term on school committee, 796 votes.
Madison Alwardt Jr., three-year term as water district commissioner, 976 votes.