Greater transparency, expanded human services and more state funding are among the goals shared by candidates running for the Dukes County commission. Seven candidates are running to fill seven seats on the board next Tuesday. Four appear on the ballot, while three are running as write-ins.

Write-ins Gretchen Underwood of Oak Bluffs and Benjamin Hall Jr. are seeking their first terms on the commission. All terms run for two years.

The five candidates seeking reelection are Leon Brathwaite, John Alley, Tristan Israel, David Holway and Christine Todd, who is running as a write-in. Mr. Holway was appointed in August to replace Melinda Loberg, who left the commission when she was elected a selectman in Tisbury.

Chairman Leonard Jason Jr. and Thomas Hallahan are not seeking reelection.

Reached by phone this week, several of the candidates said their priorities for the next two years include expanding services for the elderly and vulnerable, obtaining more of the state funding earmarked for the Cape and Islands, and working to be more transparent as a public body.

The commission has been working to establish a new Center for Living, which would provide full-service day care for seniors, with a focus on caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease. “We need to get funding for that and town commissions to be on board,” said Mr. Brathwaite. Ms. Todd said that in addition to town support, the center would be responsible for much of its own fundraising.

Ms. Todd also hopes to see better services for supporting the homeless. She believed a social service coordinator would be especially useful to the Islandwide community.

“It would be good to have a point person here who could help people get different services that they need,” she said, adding that working with the same people over time would help the coordinator identify each person’s unique needs.

Mr. Israel noted the commission’s ongoing work to facilitate the healthy aging task force, which he believed will play an increasingly important role as the Island’s senior population continues to expand.

Some candidates pointed out that most of the state funding for human services on the Cape and Islands does not make it to the Vineyard. “We need somebody who is going to help get that money flowing to the Island,” said Ms. Todd. Other priorities focused on the county government itself. “I think county government needs to be more responsive to the towns and the public,” said Mr. Alley. He said county government can eliminate the duplication of efforts by having regional services.

“There are certainly detractors of the concept of county government,” said Mr. Israel. But he pointed out that the county charter study a few years ago found that most Islanders supported the county model. “I think in the end it’s a good conduit for Islandwide efforts,” he said.

Ms. Underwood said in an email that the commission “needs to be more transparent in it’s proceedings and the way the information is presented to the public.”

The newly elected board will face the additional challenge of ongoing legal disputes with the Martha’s Vineyard Airport commission, which has sought greater independence from the county, which owns the airport and appoints the airport commissioners. The county commission’s decision in September to expand the airport commission from seven to nine members is the subject of litigation.

“What I would like to see us do is sit down with the commissioners and resolve the issues and take it out of the courts, period,” said Mr. Brathwaite. “In the courts we are asking someone else to make a decision, whereas we as adults can sit down, and I think, work these things out ourselves.”

The commission is waiting for a response to a letter sent by the county chairman this month to each airport commissioner, asking for both boards to get together and try to resolve the issue out of court.

Mr. Brathwaite believed that press coverage surrounding the airport conflict had obscured some of the county’s more positive work this year.

Mr. Israel put it in stronger terms. “This dispute is deliberately portrayed by some as a turf war between the county and the airport commission,” he said. He said the county commission was “trying to do everything we can to restore confidence and restore due process at the airport.” He said the decision to expand the commission was the only tool available at the time to address the situation.

But not all commissioners felt the same way. Mr. Alley, who served on the airport commission for a number of years, said he “got to see both sides of the coin.”

“I’ve made it known to the commissioners that they need to let the airport operate as the airport,” he said. Mr. Alley abstained from voting to expand the commission.

“Whatever can be done to work out the difficulties openly with full transparency and cooperation is the way to go,” said Ms. Todd, who is currently serving on the airport commission. “The county commission is in full support of wanting to sit down and talk about it.”

Benjamin Hall Jr. is a former member of the airport commission who was not reappointed this year. “As a former airport commissioner, I was extremely concerned about the wasteful litigation that has been ongoing, and I want to step in and I want to fix that situation,” he said. “The other reason is that a real comprehensive review of what the county does and can do and should be doing needs to be brought further down the field and a decision brought to voters.”