With the impending retirement of their longtime town treasurer, the Chilmark select board voted unanimously Tuesday to take steps to change the position from elected to appointed.

Treasurer Melanie Becker will retire in January after 22 years on the job. All three members of the board expressed their gratitude for Ms. Becker’s work while lamenting her departure.

“It’s not going to be an easy job to replace Melanie,” selectman Bill Rossi said.

But the retirement has also sparked the move to shift from an elected to an appointed town treasurer. At their regular meeting Tuesday board members briefly weighed the pros and cons of the change.

Town administrator Tim Carroll said some towns like having an elected treasurer because she can serve as a check on the select board.

But selectman Warren Doty noted that the town clerk and tax collector also used to be elected; changing those positions “has worked out very well,” he said. Mr. Doty said the finance committee is a sufficient “financial watchdog.”

Selectman James Malkin agreed. “[The finance committee’s] division of responsibilities and their oversight has been very, very good,” Mr. Malkin said. “They are not simply a rubber stamp board by any means.”

Mr. Rossi said appointing a treasurer would give better assurance that the person is fully qualified.

Mr. Carroll added that candidates from all over the Island could apply for an appointed treasurer position, while only Chilmark residents can run as an elected treasurer.

“We want to cast as wide a net as possible to get the best person possible for this treasurer position,” Mr. Malkin concluded.

The change will still need approval by voters at an upcoming town meeting (it is not on the warrant for Saturday’s special town meeting). If voters agree, then selectmen said they would appoint three-person screening committee to review and interview candidates. The committee would recommend finalists to the select board.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday afternoon a notice went up on the town website inviting candidates to submit resumes for the appointed treasurer position. The deadline for applications is Nov. 22.

In other business Tuesday, harbor master Ryan Rossi said two harbor users had offered to pay for repairs/alterations to the west dock in Menemsha, in order to thwart nesting birds that pick up rocks and drop them on the dock and boats.

But selectmen declined the offer, citing the potential for setting a precedent.

“If there’s work that the town needs to do, then the town should pay for it,” Mr. Malkin said. “If we open the door to private funding of things that are the town’s [responsibility], the potential for this going off in funny directions, the law of unintended consequences, is a concern to me.”

The board also gave a green light to the planning board to hold a hearing on proposed changes to the zoning bylaws that would create an application and permit process for pickleball, court tennis and platform tennis courts on private property.

Responding to a letter from Chilmark resident Caitlin Cook asking the town to officially change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day, all three selectmen expressed support for the measure, but said it should be brought before voters.

“I think it should not just come from the select board, I think it should come from the whole town,” Mr. Rossi said. “I think it will pass if presented.”