Tisbury voters will choose between two candidates for select board at the annual town election Tuesday.

One-term incumbent James (Jim) Rogers is seeking re-election to a three-year seat; he is being challenged by Roy Cutrer Jr., a longtime member of the town board of assessors.

Both candidates support the new building project at the Tisbury School and both cite the housing crisis as a number one problem, in town and on the Island. Both sat with the Gazette recently for interviews.

James Rogers, 68, is an electrical inspector and retired firefighter. A native Islander, Mr. Rogers graduated from the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School and went on to start his own electrical business.

He served on the Tisbury fire department for over 40 years, including as assistant fire chief, before retiring at 65, the mandatory age of retirement for members. He is married with two sons, one who lives on-Island and the other in Virginia. He has two grandchildren.

Mr. Rogers has served on numerous town boards since 1975, including the finance committee, zoning board of appeals, personnel board and multiple terms on the board of health. He had a 10-year tenure managing the state board of state examiners of electricians.

He ran for selectman in 2017 but was defeated by Melinda Loberg before ultimately winning the seat in 2018.

He said he hopes to win a second term to continue to serve on the Tisbury School school building committee, among other things.

“I want to continue the work I’ve been doing,” he said.

He also cited his role in recent town initiatives, including approving aquaculture sites, helping establish a short-term rental committee and formally adopting the town’s first rental regulations, as well as overseeing personnel and reorganizing committees.

Shepherding the town through the Covid-19 pandemic was the largest undertaking of his tenure, Mr. Rogers said. “One of the toughest things we had to deal with is Covid — working day-to-day on some of the stuff we had to deal with, that took a lot of our time,” he said.

If reelected, Mr. Rogers said he hoped to push zoning reform and affordable housing initiatives.

“The housing issue is an important one,” he said. “We need to do something to allow people who work here to be able to live here . . . Tisbury has the highest percentage of affordable housing based upon a percentage of land mass and I want to keep working on that.”

His long-term goals include expanding the wastewater treatment facility, improving the downtown area, and prioritizing the working waterfront.

But he cited the Tisbury School project as the most important issue facing the town.

“We don’t have a lot of historic town buildings,” he said. “Instead of filling up a landfill with a building we’re actually going to retrofit the building and make it as near as possible to net zero energy consumption. It’s an exciting project, and most importantly, it’s going to give us safe and efficient school.”

Outside town hall, Mr. Rogers is an avid golfer and hockey fan. In his free time he can be found spending time with his grandchildren or putting away on the links.

Roy Cutrer Jr., 63, is a real estate broker and the owner of MV Premier Properties. Originally from Tucson, Ariz., he moved to the Island in 1997 after his sister Deborah, a former MV Public Charter School math teacher, settled on the Island. He has over 30 years of experience in

the real estate business, first earning his real estate license in 1989. Prior to that, he had a career as a production planner at IBM. He has a wife and three children, all of whom grew up on the Island and attended the Tisbury School.

He has served on the Tisbury board of assessors for 19 consecutive years, since 2001. He has also worked on hiring committees for the town and non-related negotiating committees. He served on the American Red Cross disaster services in Tucson on the Island.

His said his work as an assessor inspired him to involve himself further in municipal government and run for the select board.

“I’ve always kind of had my eye on the board seat and I think now is the time,” he said. “Tisbury needs someone who’s going to listen to the voters and adapt.”

He said he feels well prepared for the role.

“For the last 19 years, the town has been grooming me,” he said. “As a member of the board of assessors, I have conducted town business, I’ve met with taxpayers, nonprofit organizations and businesses and I’ve strived to do what was right for the town and the taxpayer.”

If elected, Mr. Cutrer said he would be eager to tackle the search for a new police chief, and he named the Tisbury School building project as the town’s number one priority.

“The Tisbury School is one of the cornerstones of the town and the children of Tisbury deserve to be in an environment that is conducive to learning,” he said. He also emphasized the need to address the town — and the Island — affordable housing crisis in the immediate future.

“The housing crisis that the Island is going through right now is . . . one of my priorities,” Mr. Cutrer said. “The lack of affordable rentals — that’s going to change the population of the town and the character of the town rapidly. We’ve got to figure out how to retain people.”

He too said finding ways to expand the town’s small wastewater and sewer capacity is a priority.

“Unless we can increase the sewer capacity, it’s going to be a permanent problem that’s going to engulf us and affect the water quality of our ponds,” he said. “There are other communities around the country that have [similar] problems. Those answers are out there, and we have to find them.”

In his free time, Mr. Cutrer loves to fish, and relishes days spent surf casting by the drawbridge in Vineyard Haven, especially during the derby.