Robert Whritenour, who has served as interim town administrator in Oak Bluffs since September, has been permanently appointed to the position by the town selectmen.

At a meeting Tuesday Mr. Whritenour earned glowing praise from the selectmen, who voted unanimously to appoint him. After the vote, the selectmen and an audience of about 10 people applauded.

Mr. Whritenour, the former Falmouth town manager, was chosen from a pool of 31 applicants, with four candidates selected for a final interview round.

“I’m glad we did the process because it did, I think, make Bob stand out. It made me more aware that I think we’re very lucky to have Bob come across our doorstep,” said selectman Michael Santoro, who said he was originally against looking at other candidates besides Mr. Whritenour. “Doing the process made me even more aware of the fact that we had the best candidate in the position,” he said.

“He has a tremendous amount of experience that he’s brought here,” said selectman Gregory Coogan. “I think right now for him and for us this is the perfect place for him, because I think our issues are issues he’s seen before and dealt with before, and I think he’s proved to us that he’s quite capable.”

Selectman Gail Barmakian said Mr. Whritenour’s financial expertise is an important asset to the town, and board chairman Kathy Burton highlighted Mr. Whritenour’s 19 years of experience as a town administrator or town manager.

Former town administrator Michael Dutton resigned in July, and Oak Bluffs has been struggling with financial problems, including a free cash deficit of more than $800,000. The town was also reprimanded by the state attorney general for violating state bidding laws.

“I want to say, I’ve really been honored to be the interim administrator these five months,” Mr. Whritenour said in brief remarks after the vote. “I’ve grown, quite sincerely, to have a tremendous amount of respect for this board of selectmen.”

“Oak Bluffs is just a tremendously charming town, it’s a beautiful town,” he said. “I see nothing but an upside, so I just want to say that I’m very enthusiastic about it too. Folks around here should be very proud of their town, and very proud of the people that lead it,”

After the meeting, Mr. Whritenour said he did not have immediate plans to move to the Island, and will continue to commute from Falmouth. However, “I love Oak Bluffs,” he said.

The selectmen will discuss Mr. Whritenour’s contract and salary at a later date.

“Hallelujah,” Ms. Burton declared after the vote.

In other news, the selectmen approved the Portuguese-American Club’s proposal to host this year’s Run to the Rock, an annual charity event hosted by the Martha’s Vineyard Harley Riders. The event, planned for August 11 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., includes music, food, a motorcycle show and a slow rodeo (the winner drives the motorcycle as slow as possible without putting his or her feet down).

“Basically it’s just a big gathering for people who enjoy motorcycles, that get together and eat food and look at motorcycles and talk. It’s more camaraderie than anything,” said Jean-Marc Dupon, a member of the group, who said the event draws crowds between 600 people and 1,000 people.

Mr. Dupon said the nonprofit organization, which has hosted the event for 20 years, sometimes raises as much as $50,000. The money goes to a range of Island groups and causes, he said, including youth sports groups, Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, the high school science fair and Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard.

The selectmen made it clear that they had concerns about the level of noise in the residential neighborhood.

“I don’t think there’s anybody up here who doesn’t realize how important these charities are . . . obviously we’re worried about the sound because you are going to be in a more contained area,” said Mr. Coogan. “Sound’s a big issue for us. Other than that, what you’re doing, I think we’re all behind it.”

In previous years, the event was held on private property in West Tisbury. Mr. Dupon said that property was no longer available.

Mr. Dupon said the organization would do what it could to warn attendees about noise. “We want this to work as well; it’s an important event for us,” he said. “We’re willing to do what we can in the advertising part of it to make it work.”

Oak Bluffs police chief Erik Blake said that the police department will require five detail officers at the event, and they’ve asked the organization to limit ticket sales to 1,000 and keep the event closed to the public.

“It’s going to be myself, and then this board, who hears if it doesn’t run right,” Mr. Blake said, noting that the department usually gets calls anyway during the weekend of the event, when motorcycle riders congregate at town restaurants. Portuguese-American Club president Patricia Bergeron said that the club is also unsure if noise will be a problem, and they will reevaluate hosting the event after this year.

“Until we try it, we’re not going to know,” Ms. Bergeron said. “We like partnering with people who do good things, and they do good things . . . I’m being honest. Are we concerned about the noise? Yeah we are, but you know what, they come to Oak Bluffs regardless if it’s hosted at the P.A. club or not. The bikes are going to be in Oak Bluffs.”

The board also approved a variety of annual events in Oak Bluffs, including the 19th annual Memorial Day road race on May 27, the 12th annual NAACP George Tankard memorial road race on Sept. 15, the 23rd annual Columbus Day road race on Oct. 7, and the 10th annual Thanksgiving Day road race on Nov. 22.

Mr. Whritenour provided the selectmen with an update about town revenues, noting that so far, Oak Bluffs’s 2012 collections are $202,393 higher than they were last year. He also showed an informational poster board about the Oak Bluffs roundabout that will be on display at the library.