Dukes County commissioners voted Wednesday to appoint Richard Wharton Jr., a former Navy pilot, to the Martha’s Vineyard Airport Commission.

The were four applicants for two spots on the airport commission, which is appointed by the county commission. In additional to Mr. Wharton, the commission voted to reappoint Richard Michelson to the commission.

This left incumbent airport commissioner Christine Todd one vote short of reappointment after three years on the airport commission. Ms. Todd is also a county commissioner.

Mr. Wharton and Mr. Michelson each received four votes, while Ms. Todd and a fourth candidate, airline consultant Geoff Wheeler, each received three votes.

Before the vote, commissioner Gretchen Tucker-Underwood declared the appearance of a conflict, telling fellow commissioners she had filed a declaration with the county commission that Mr. Wharton is her nephew. Under state law, Ms. Tucker-Underwood can participate in the debate and the vote, as long as she files a public disclosure of the conflict of interest.

Mr. Wharton worked for 14 years in the investment banking industry after leaving the Navy. He is currently a full-time Island resident and director of plant operations at Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

“I look to be a fresh set of eyes, a fresh resource,” Mr. Wharton told commissioners. “I bring direct leadership experience to that, financial experience, and aviation experience.”

Ms. Todd, who served three years on the airport commission during a time of turmoil that saw the departure of the airport manager and a complete turnover of the appointed airport commissioners, said she was proud of her accomplishments.

“It’s been an honor to serve as a county commissioner on the airport commission,” Ms. Todd said after the vote. “I would encourage my fellow county commissioners at this table who seem to have quite a vested interest in what’s going on at the airport to attend airport commission meetings. I don’t think I’ve seen a county commissioner there in the last three years that I’ve served. To be operating from a standpoint of making appointments to a body, I think it’s important to know what’s going on.”

Mr. Wharton will begin serving his three year term at the airport commission’s regularly scheduled meeting on March 9.