There were a few fits and starts along the way, but Oak Bluffs voters moved with speed — and even a bit of humor — to overwhelmingly pass a $24.1 million operating budget for the coming fiscal year at back-to-back special and annual town meetings Tuesday night.

Newly appointed town administrator Robert Whritenour began the evening with an hour-long presentation on the financially troubled town’s fiscal situation. Though “cautiously optimistic” about the future, Mr. Whritenour said, the town must emphasize sustainability and moderate expectations in the coming year.

“I think we’re going to make our estimate for fiscal year 2012, plus a little more, and we’re going to keep that same estimate for fiscal year 2013 and we’re going to beat it,” he said.

“We are going to keep those revenue estimates down . . . and that’s how we’re going to pull this town back into the black.”

The $24.1 budget marks a 1.14 per cent increase over last year’s budget, and restores some positions previously cut or unfilled in cost-saving measures, including a reference librarian, an animal control officer, a town accountant and a cemetery maintenance worker.

Voters also approved the use of $233,953 in Community Preservation Act funds for the preservation of the East Chop bluff and road, the restoration of stained glass windows at the United Methodist Church, the preservation and digitization of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum’s collection, and rental assistance for Dukes County Regional Housing Authority; agreed to raise fees on town bylaws for infractions such as skateboarding and throwing frisbees on Circuit avenue, and increased the time restaurants can stay open from 12:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.

After contentious discussion over how to pay for a $38,300 water quality assessment on the Upper Lagoon Pond, voters raced through the remaining few articles, including a nonbinding question about voter preference for a proposed roundabout at the blinker light intersection.

“I’m going to allow 15 minutes for discussion; after all, we’ve been discussing this for about 10 years,” said moderator Jesse (Jack) Law 3rd. “Anybody want to discuss this?” “No!” the crowd shouted. Despite a few objections, voters loudly voiced their approval of the project.

As crowd members hurried for the exits, a few lingered behind to congratulate Mr. Law and Mr. Whritenour on their speedy handling of the meeting.

“Well done,” said one man to Mr. Law. “Three hours? I don’t know what to do with the rest of my week. I was expecting this to take two or three days.”