As a five-way race heats up for two seats on the Oak Bluffs board of selectmen, candidates made their pitch to voters at a forum Wednesday night at the town library.

Speaking to a crowd of about 30 people, the two incumbents pointed to their experience and the fact that they had helped shepherd Oak Bluffs through a challenging financial period five years ago. And the three challengers, who all sit on town boards, pointed to their own solid work for the town.

The annual town election is April 16. Kathy Burton is seeking a third term and Greg Coogan is seeking a fifth term. Challengers Abraham Seiman and Raymond Taylor both sit on the town finance committee, while candidate Brian Packish is chairman of the planning board.

“This board has done a very credible job in improving town finances, carefully spending and collecting revenues,” said Mr. Coogan, who is board chairman. “We try to bring all the information we can get to each and every meeting so that we are as well informed as possible. I always try to listen to all sides and then make logical decisions that seem to me to be in the best interest of the town.”

Ms. Burton pointed to her role chairman of a the first joint Tisbury-Oak Bluffs Lagoon Pond committee, as well as her time as acting town administrator. When she chaired the board of selectmen, she shifted the agenda setup in order to encourage public comment during meetings instead of at the end. “I’m very pleased that successive chairmen have continued to honor that commitment,” she said. “You can never have enough communication.” She also said she would work to increase the town’s outreach through social media to engage both year-round and seasonal residents.

Mr. Packish, who grew up in Oak Bluffs, pointed to his experience on the planning board, especially the town streetscape committee, where he worked to implement “relentless” outreach to citizens about upcoming projects. “We were able to reduce costs, create well-thought out projects, and increase participation from the community,” he said.

Mr. Seiman and Mr. Taylor both talked about their work on the finance committee. Mr. Taylor is the current vice chairman, and is also running for re-election to that board. “I’ve always thought it was important to communicate with the community, to serve, to volunteer,” he said. “I want to continue that in Oak Bluffs, and continue finance committee work at policy making table.”

Mr. Seiman spoke of keeping voters informed on all issues. “I want to make sure that you understand and we understand the financial implications of decisions that end up affecting our daily lives,” he said.

Ms. Burton and Mr. Coogan both took questions from the audience regarding decisions made by the board over their tenure, with the town council on aging and recent changes in personnel a concern for some. Several people questioned the way the selectmen had handled the case of Roger Wey, the former director of the senior center who was placed on administrative leave for several months before being dismissed amid questions of mismanagement of a fund.

Both Ms. Burton and Mr. Coogan said that they would not have changed the way the case was handled, and that making difficult decisions was part of the job of selectmen.

Mr. Seiman, who is an active participant in senior center programs, said that the past events were “undoable,” but that the current direction was promising, particularly the hiring of a full-time outreach worker.

Mr. Packish again stressed transparency as a priority for the town.

“What I have heard from taxpayers is that they want . . . a government that includes them,” he said.