The race is uncontested, but there will be a new face on the Tisbury board of selectmen after the annual town election in May. Selectman Jeffrey Kristal will not be seeking a third term on the board. Melinda Loberg, a veteran of the town finance committee, is running unopposed for his seat.
Mr. Kristal said Thursday that he made his decision three years ago, after he was re-elected to a second term on the board.
“I honestly felt that . . . two terms was sufficient enough, and I just think it’s time to move on and give space for fresh ideas,” he said in a phone conversation. “I’m a huge supporter of term limits and giving somebody else a chance to represent the town and the voters.” Mr. Kristal is also the town representative on the county finance advisory board and appointed member to the Tisbury zoning board of appeals.
He initially ran for office in 2008. At the time, Tisbury was grappling with the issue of allowing beer and wine in town.
“I was a supporter of the beer and wine movement, and I felt that people didn’t understand the business community at the time at the selectmen level,” Mr. Kristal said. He and his wife Jynell are proprietors of the Crocker House Inn.
The town voted to allow beer and wine in 2010.
Mr. Kristal remains focused on other Tisbury matters, particularly the town’s ongoing wastewater challenges. He is running for a one-year seat on the board of the Department of Public Works.
Mr. Kristal said he worked with the DPW when the town sewer system was last expanded.
“At that point it was already the initial hookup for everybody,” he said. “It was basically in its infancy stage, and now everybody is looking more at water quality and the expansion of the B-2 [business] district.”
“It’s going to play a more important role as we go forward,” he continued. Tisbury is working to reduce nitrogen loading in Lagoon Pond and Lake Tashmoo.
Looming wastewater needs are also a concern of Melinda Loberg, who has been involved in recent efforts to reduce nitrogen output from the town sewer plant, including implementing a new leaching system last year.
She said Thursday that she has been encouraged to run for office before.
“People have been putting that out there for me, saying Why don’t you do it — you’re prepared, you know a lot about the town,” Mrs. Loberg said. She has been on the town finance committee for 12 years, and is a member of the harbor management committee and wastewater planning committee. Mrs. Loberg is also an elected county commissioner — a post she will leave if elected — and a town EMT.
She said that changes in the town offices, particularly the arrival of town administrator John (Jay) Grande last year, had prompted her to take another look at running. Future personnel changes are also on Mrs. Loberg’s mind.
“[Town treasurer] Tim McLean has signaled that he’s coming up to his expected retirement time, which terrifies everybody in town,” she said. “He has really been the cause of a lot of stability for our town, and we need to be thinking about how we’re going to manage that in the future.
“It just seems like there’s a moment in time when transitions are going to happen,” she said.
Mrs. Loberg consulted with the state board of ethics to determine which of her current positions she can still hold. She said she will step down from the county commission but may take Mr. Kristal’s seat on the county advisory board. She will also resign from her finance committee position, adhering to a town mandate allowing officials to hold only one elected post.
“The fincom has some new members now and I feel like we’re in a good place. There are some interesting and smart people on that board,” Mrs. Loberg said.
“My philosophy is I should resign from all committees in Tisbury,” she said. “Selectmen can [still] go to meetings, you don’t need to have a voting membership.”
She will remain a town EMT, a volunteer post.
“There are other people perfectly well-equipped to serve,” she said, speaking of the town posts she will vacate. “We need to reach out and include people who want to be involved and have expertise.”
“On the lighter aspect of it, I live on Crocker avenue, the same street as Jeff,” Mrs. Loberg said. “And before that it was [the late selectman] Ed Coogan, so in effect there has to be somebody on our street involved in town things.”