Leonard Jason Jr. seems destined to serve on Island boards. This week, the longtime building inspector for both Edgartown and Chilmark was re-elected to another two-year term on the Dukes County Commission, despite his intention to step down after 20 years. It was the second county election in a row in which Mr. Jason was elected without running.

On election day Tuesday there were seven declared candidates for seven seats on the county commission, including three declared write-ins. Even though Mr. Jason had said he wasn’t running, he received 252 write-in votes (minus Oak Bluffs, where results were unavailable at press time). It was the second highest number among the write-ins.

In an interview with the Gazette this week, Mr. Jason said he would accept the will of the voters and serve.

When he’s not working his two jobs as building inspector, Mr. Jason also serves on the board of the Martha’s Vineyard Regional Transit Authority and is an assessor in Chilmark. He is the county appointee to the Martha’s Vineyard Commission.

He was unsure whether he would continue serving on the MVC. “We’ll see what happens,” he said. “Sometimes you just need to step back a bit.” He has served on the commission since the late 1970s.

Mr. Jason’s priorities for 2015 focus on his work as a county commissioner. He hopes to help better establish the healthy aging task force, find a location for the new Center for Living, and resolve an ongoing legal dispute with the Martha’s Vineyard Airport Commission. “If we could do that in a year, that wouldn’t be a bad year’s work,” he said. Conflict resolution is something Mr. Jason knows well. As a building inspector, part of his job “is to make sure neighbors don’t kill each other,” he said. To accomplish that goal, he works to keep all zoning complaints anonymous and to actively resolve any legitimate complaints.

Mr. Jason recently sat in on a meeting of Chilmark’s committee on Squibnocket, which is working toward a recommendation on how to restore Squibnocket Beach. In September the committee chairman asked Mr. Jason to help facilitate discussions between two homeowner groups that have developed competing proposals. The discussions have not taken place, but Mr. Jason believed the committee is on the right track with its deliberations.

“A decision will be made,” he said. “And the sooner [the homeowners] realize that a decision will be made and will try to be made for what’s best for the town, then perhaps there will be some willingness to compromise.”

Last month he sent a letter to the Martha’s Vineyard Airport Commission seeking an out-of-court resolution to the conflict, which involves questions of autonomy and public process. “They are your neighbors,” he said of the airport commissioners. “If you can’t straighten it out with your neighbor, who the hell are you going to straighten it out with?” Only five of the commissioners have responded.

Mr. Jason worked for Island builder Otis E. Burt after moving to the Vineyard as a teenager in 1962. He lived on the Vineyard on and off during his service in the Viet Nam War, then hooked up with Island contractor Pierce Kirby after returning home from the Army. His first board appointment was to the Chilmark finance committee. The selectmen then appointed him to the planning board and later to the MVC. He became a building inspector in 1986.

After decades of juggling a variety of regional and municipal roles, Mr. Jason believes he has a better understanding of how local government works.

“If you want to get involved in local government, the first thing you should do is get on the finance committee,” he said. “At least you can understand the basics. You don’t just make a rule and spend the money and it happens, because it doesn’t work that way. It’s meant to be deliberative and slow.”

His experience spans some of the major turning points in recent Island history, including the more widespread adoption of zoning laws in the 1970s. “That was the first acknowledgement that things were about to change — our lifestyles,” he said. “Now there were rules. People were telling you what you could do on your land. That had never been done before.”

Looking toward the future, he worries that the Island will lose its sense of community. He said the daily stream of cars and pedestrians on and off the ferries indicate the Island’s lack of economic opportunity.

He said people should ask themselves whether they are happy with the way their local governments work. “If the answer is yes, then stay home; watch television,” he said. “If the answer is no, if you want to effect change for the better, I think you have to get involved by attending meetings and trying to understand the processes and just ask questions when you don’t know. The only dumb question is the one you don’t ask.”

Some new faces were elected to Island committees on Tuesday, including to the MVC and the county commission. Mr. Jason’s advice for first-time board members: “Try to listen to all the facts. The simple rule is you always want to treat people the way you’d like to be treated. It’s more important to do the right thing I believe, than to be right.”