In a surprise change of guard, the Edgartown selectmen unanimously appointed Island builder Ted Rosbeck to the Martha’s Vineyard Commission Monday over longtime representative James Joyce.

Both Mr. Rosbeck and Mr. Joyce, a real estate broker who has served as Edgartown’s representative on the MVC since 2010 and had been reappointed for the past decade, submitted letters of interest for the appointment.

But the selectmen opted for a switch on Monday, indicating that they preferred Mr. Rosbeck’s experience working with the town’s planning board and his outsized role in the Island building community.

The son of Peter Rosbeck, a prominent Island developer who built numerous subdivisions on the Vineyard beginning in the 1980s, Ted Rosbeck lives in Edgartown and owns and operates the swimming pool construction and service company, Island Pools and Spas.

The appointment follows a decision by the Oak Bluffs selectmen in December to appoint selectman and developer Brian Packish over longtime representative Gail Barmakian. Ms. Barmakian, an attorney, is also a town selectman.

The six town appointments to the Martha’s Vineyard Commission are made annually. A 17-member voting body, the commission has eight appointed members, one from each Island town, an appointee from Dukes County and one person appointed by the Massachusetts governor. Nine other members are elected at large for two-year terms.

On Monday, Edgartown selectman Michael Donaroma referenced Mr. Rosbeck’s building experience before moving for his appointment. Mr. Rosbeck attended the meeting, which was held over Zoom. Mr. Joyce was not present.

“I’d like to move that we appoint Ted Rosbeck,” Mr. Donaroma told the board. “He has shown a lot of interest in the town bylaws through the planning board, and also a lot of interest in the MVC, with what’s going on up there. Ted’s a big part of the builders’ association on the Vineyard, and I think he would be helpful for the town of Edgartown.”

The Martha’s Vineyard Builders’ Association is a 120-member collective that represents contractors, builders and tradespeople on the Island. The association recently campaigned actively against proposed changes to a commission checklist that would allow it to review a larger swath of development projects on the Island.

Both the Edgartown and Oak Bluffs planning boards opposed the changes.

Selectman Margaret Serpa seconded the motion, saying that while Mr. Joyce was a “very good representative,” she understood the decision to choose someone with “new talents.” Selectman Arthur Smadbeck also thanked Mr. Joyce for his service on the commission, but added the town wanted to go in a new direction.

“These appointments are not for life. They’re for one year and it’s not often that we get other people interested,” Mr. Smadbeck said. “It’s probably good to have somebody new, with some builders experience, and Ted certainly has been a wonderful contributing member to our community and very helpful in many other ways.”

After brief discussion, Mr. Donaroma encouraged both Mr. Joyce and Mr. Rosbeck to run for the town’s elected seat on the commission. Selectmen then called the vote to appoint Mr. Rosbeck, which was approved unanimously.

Mr. Rosbeck will serve from Edgartown along with Christina Brown and newly-elected commissioner Jeffrey Agnoli.

In other business, selectmen voted to allow the The Newes From America Pub to close for four months during the 2021 off season, effective Jan. 5 through April 1.

Located inside the historic Kelley House inn, the cozy bar and restaurant has long been open year-round. But in a letter to the selectmen dated Dec. 23, Kelley House manager Evan Bailey wrote that pandemic-related restrictions had made it difficult to operate in the current offseason economic climate.

“The decision to temporarily suspend service at The Newes is a difficult one,” Mr. Bailey wrote. “The decision is in direct response to the impact the global pandemic has taken on our industry. In addition to the pandemic and reductions in business levels, the recent mandate by Gov. Charlie Baker reducing in-dining to 25 per cent makes it impossible to cover our operating expenses.”

Selectmen approved the closure unanimously.

They approved a temporary parking lot easement for the Harborside Hotel, as well as a purchase and sale agreement with Kathryn Kennedy for a parcel located 28 Jason Drive. The purchase price is $470,000 according to the agreement, and the land is restricted by a town affordable housing covenant.

Selectmen also approved a new three-year contract for town fire chief Alex Schaeffer. The contract runs through 2024, with an annual salary of $156,516, as well as health and life insurance benefits.

Town administrator James Hagerty, as well as selectmen, praised Mr. Schaeffer’s job performance.

“He’s done an excellent job,” Mr. Hagerty said. “His expertise, his skill and his resume alone is unmatched. I’m glad that he’s going to be on again for another three years.”