A contest appears to be shaping up for who will represent Martha’s Vineyard on the Steamship Authority board of governors for the next three years.

Vineyard governor Marc Hanover’s term expires this year. Contacted by telephone Thursday, Mr. Hanover said he intends to reapply, although he has not yet submitted a letter of interest to the county commission, which is the appointing authority.

Chilmark selectman James Malkin and Michael Lyons, an Oak Bluffs resident, have already submitted letters of interest and resumes, the county manager confirmed this week.

The deadline for applications is Jan. 31; the governor’s current three-year term ends on Feb. 28.

At their regular meeting Wednesday, the county commission set Feb. 5 as the date for conducting interviews.

Mr. Hanover, an Oak Bluffs restaurant owner who has been the Vineyard governor for the past 15 years, said he believes he is the best candidate for the job, although he said if he is reappointed it will be his last term.

“I’m sure this will be my last time,” Mr. Hanover said, adding: “It probably is time for a change but I just can’t imagine somebody coming in cold . . . I don’t feel someone else can walk in there without ever attending a meeting . . . and be an effective representative for the Island without the background.”

He continued: “The Steamship Authority right now is in a huge transitional stage. When I went on the board I had been on port council two years, which gave me a huge leg up and I believe it’s important that somebody have that kind of knowledge.”

In the past three years the SSA has been rocked by operational tumult and upheaval, including an unprecedented spate of ferry breakdowns and service interruptions on the Vineyard route in March 2018. The incidents led to an independent review by outside consultants, who issued a scathing report on management with recommendations for sweeping change. Most of the recommendations are in the process of being carried out, but the boat line remains a source of consternation among Vineyarders, who worry about reliability and whether it has stayed true to the core mission of providing dependable year-round service to residents of the two Islands.

Mr. Hanover acknowledged the problems but said overall there have been positives.

“I certainly feel there have been a lot of improvements over the last 15 years as far as Islanders’ access to the boat line and with the boat line itself,” he said.

“People have much more access than they ever did.”

Reached by telephone Thursday, Mr. Malkin said he decided to apply out of a desire to help.

“I was asked a number of years ago if I would consider being a governor, and I said if the commissioners wanted me to take that position I would do it,” he said, adding: “I think it’s vital for the Island and its future to have a consistent and reliable ferry service.”

Mr. Malkin is a retired business executive with a background in transportation, and is in his second term as a Chilmark selectman.

Mr. Lyons, a 2008 graduate of the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, is an Oak Bluffs resident who has worked as a truck driver and is a trained diesel mechanic. In a brief telephone conversation, he said he applied for the position because it seemed like a new person was needed.

“I decided to see what I can do to help out,” he said. “It’s come to a point where something, somewhere needs to be looked into or attempted.”

Louisa Hufstader and Will Sennott contributed reporting.