James Rogers figured when he retired after more than four decades with the Tisbury fire department, he ought to find a new way to serve the town.

Next week, he’s on the ballot running unopposed for selectman. Board chairman Larry Gomez is not seeking re-election.

Mr. Rogers is a lifelong Tisbury resident and no stranger to public service. He’s served the town in some capacity for his entire adult life.

“I guess maybe I’m a complainer,” he joked. “And I feel that you need to earn the right to complain.”

His experiences include stints on the finance committee, the board of health, the zoning board of appeals, the personnel committee and the recently-formed government study panel. He is also the electrical inspector for the town of Oak Bluffs. This is his second run for selectman; he ran against Melinda Loberg last year and lost 687 to 519.

“He is a very experienced person in the town,” said Mrs. Loberg this week. “He also has his heart in the right place. He really cares about the town, and he really wants to be involved in decisions.”

Service to the Tisbury volunteer fire department has been a prominent part of Mr. Rogers’s life. He joined the department when he was in his 20s, responding to countless emergencies. He retired this year, as required by law when members turn 65.

“He’s very intelligent, motivated individual, and extremely hardworking,” said fire chief John Schilling, who served with Mr. Rogers for 38 years. “He was a real student of the fire service. He became knowledgeable and an expert at whatever he applied himself to.”

Mr. Rogers was on duty for the devastating fire at the Tisbury Inn, now the Mansion House, in 2001.

“We thought we had it,” he said. He remembered leading a team upstairs to search for people on the second floor. “I could hear the fire roaring, it was in the hollow spaces between the walls.”

He began serving as assistant chief, a volunteer position, starting in the early 2000s. He described going to sleep at night with his equipment ready to go at the end of the bed in case of an emergency call.

“As assistant chief, you’re on duty pretty much 24/7,” he said. “You get called several times a week.”

He also brings experience as a business owner and electrical systems expert. After graduating from the regional high school, he went to the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology in Boston for a certificate in electrical work.

He returned to the Island and soon started his own electrical business, Rogers Electric. He went back to school the 1990s for additional education in electrical engineering, and founded a separate consulting company, Bay State Inspectional Agency, with a specialty in electrical inspection, fire investigation and electrical accident cases.

When it comes to the most hotly-debated topic in town this year, Mr. Rogers is not a supporter of the new school project as proposed.

“There’s no question in my mind we need to do something with the school facility. It’s in desperate need of either repair or replacement,” he said. “[But] I’m not totally pleased with the process to get us where we’re at.”

However, he said if the school project goes forward (and if he is elected) he will do everything he can to make it successful. Mrs. Loberg noted he would be a useful asset.

“I would really love to see Jimmy step up and be the selectmen’s representative on the school building committee,” she said. “He understands it.”

Asked about Beach Road corridor improvements, Mr. Rogers expressed serious concern about sea level rise.

“When I was young, you could actually lay on a beach out there,” he said.

He said the town needs to collaborate with property owners as they move forward with improvements.

“I’m really hoping we can get all the stakeholders together and come up with a uniform plan,” he said. He added, “I really have a lot of distaste for the words eminent domain.”

On the topic of rental regulations, Mr. Rogers said he understands many people rely on renting to be able to afford their homes.

“I built my first house in 1973, and I was overwhelmed: the mortgage was $28,000,” he said. “I had to rent rooms to a couple of buddies, so I have empathy.”

But as an inspector of buildings, he said some oversight is also necessary to make sure people are living in safe environments, especially when landlords are renting second homes for profit.

He said taxes are a big concern as the town faces many challenges that could put a strain on taxpayers, including the need for a new town hall and issues with roads.

“Taxes continue to rise, and it makes it cost-prohibitive for entry level people to have homes and live in Tisbury, and for the elderly who are on fixed incomes,” he said.

He said he was happy with steps in improving government transparency in the town, including an updated website. He looks forward to finding other ways to streamline meetings and procedures.

His wife of 38 years, Kathy, is the daughter of the late Tisbury selectman and unofficial town mother Cora Medeiros. Mrs. Rogers is assistant librarian at the high school. Their older son Adam, 37, works for the U.S. patent office in Washington D.C. Younger son Jeremie, 33, serves on the West Tisbury police force.

Mr. Rogers is an avid hockey fan. He grew up playing hockey on frozen ponds, and now referees games through the high school level. He is also a formidable golfer. He won the club championship A flight tournament at Farm Neck last summer.

Asked what else he likes to do, he paused.

“That’s about all I have time for,” he said.