The Tisbury select board election takes place Tuesday, Jan 24. Four candidates — Abbe Burt, Bruce Campbell, Christina Colarusso and Donald Rose — are running for one open seat following the resignation of board member Larry Gomez earlier last year due to health issues.

A few weeks ago, the League of Women Voters held a forum moderated by Beatrice Phear, where candidates answered a series of voter-submitted questions, which highlighted issues of infrastructure, flooding, town planning, affordable housing and approaches to governance.

Abbe Burt, 78, emphasized the extensive municipal experience she hopes to contribute to the town.

“The current board, of two now, is’s not a board that’s had a lot of long-term leadership or institutional knowledge,” she said.

Ms. Burt listed a resume of municipal jobs and positions she has served in for both West Tisbury and Tisbury. She especially emphasized her achievements on the Tisbury affordable housing committee, including the recently completed Kuehn's Way development.

Among other issues, Ms. Burt spoke of a need to move city employees out of the Katharine Cornell Theatre.

“[Town hall] needs to be looked at rapidly,” she said, a sentiment echoed by other participants.

For retired deputy sheriff Donald Rose, 65, communication would be key to improving town operations. Mr. Rose specifically cited the recent controversy over construction on Vineyard Haven’s Main street, which shut down sidewalks in front of storefronts despite business owners saying they were not informed of the project.

“I would take projects like this, and personally go and speak to folks,” Mr. Rose said. “It’s not difficult for myself or another to take a walk downtown and speak to these folks.”

Mr. Rose also expressed concern about the Martha’s Vineyard Commission’s denial of a request to demolish a historic West Chop home, saying “they may be out of their jurisdiction.”

The MVC was also on the mind of Bruce Campbell, 80, who has also served on several town boards.

“I was on the second generation elected to the commission, and at the time we were heady with what the power was,” he said, referring to the MVC denying the Steamship Authority to build a second Tisbury slip in 1980.

“The powers that be in Tisbury drove the commission out, and it was a very unpleasant time,” said Mr. Campbell, expressing some worry that the recently mounting legal bills might once again threaten the MVC.

Mr. Campbell also spoke strongly for the need to regionalize Island services.

“Six police chiefs, six fire chiefs...we need to combine some of these services or we are going to croak.”

Town resources and infrastructure were at the top of the list for Christina Colarusso, 32, a maritime engineer currently serving as facilities manager and wastewater operator at the Martha’s Vineyard Airport.

At the forum, Ms. Colarusso spoke of her familiarity with grant funding programs for solar power and water infrastructure projects and gave her vision for expanding the town’s sewer capacity.

“It’s a shame that the plants were purposely built small,” she said, a strategy Tisbury took to curtail development. Ms. Colarusso said she would explore expanding the current central plant and building smaller, “package plants” in densely populated areas.

After each candidate gave their closing statements, Ms. Phear ended the forum with a closing admonition: “To the public, please don’t forget to vote.”