Richard Knabel unseated two-term incumbent selectman Glenn Hearn by a vote of 380 to 294 in the annual town election yesterday.
“The town wanted to make a change and they did. I’m delighted with their confidence and support. We’re a big community and we’re all in this together,” Mr. Knabel said after the votes were counted last night.
Mr. Knabel also praised his opponent. “West Tisbury owes Glenn Hearn a lot for his service to this community. Glenn has been reelected to the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission and I look forward to working with him in town service,” he said.
“I am surprised but I’m going to take what the voters decide and that’s it. I’m picking up my signs right now. I got 520 votes for land bank commissioner so that’s what I’m going to do,” Mr. Hearn said.
A total of 724 votes were cast, about 34 per cent of the 2,145 registered voters in town.
In the only other contest on the ballot incumbent library trustees Linda Hearn and Hermine Hull defeated challengers Cynthia Riggs and Gregory Wells Orcutt.
Mrs. Hearn and Mrs. Hull received 347 and 354 votes, respectively, for three-year terms. Ms. Riggs and Mr. Orcutt received 339 and 283 votes respectively.
Voters also agreed overwhelmingly (453 to 217) to exempt $4.8 million in bond debt for the $5.2 million town hall renovation project. The vote clears the way for the project to go forward.
The new selectman Mr. Knabel will resign his finance committee post and a successor will be named by a joint committee of selectmen and the finance committee to fill the term through 2009.
Looking ahead, last night he said: “I promise to do what I said I would do. We need to set priorities and stick with them, look at our spending and to organize our budget process.
Reelected without contest yesterday were: F. Patrick Gregory, town moderator, 609 votes; Erik B. Lowe, board of health, 579 votes; Robert S. Mone, assessor, 560 votes; Katherine Logue, treasurer, 593 votes; Brent E. Taylor, tax collector, 584 votes; Prudence Whiting, town clerk, 620 votes; Jeremiah Armstrong Brown, tree warden, 567 votes; Timothy E. Maley, constable, 587 votes; Alexander R. DeVito and Brian Athearn, finance committee, 504 and 554 votes respectively; David O. Douglas, planning board, 546 votes; Cheryl Lowe and D. Bruce Keep, park and recreation committee, 551 and 504 votes respectively; Glenn R. Hearn, land bank commission, 520 votes.
Town clerk Prudence Whiting was the top vote getter .