Longtime Chilmark select board member Bill Rossi announced at a board meeting Tuesday that he will not seek reelection for a fifth term, ending his 12-year run on the board and capping off a 31-year tenure in town government.

Mr. Rossi said as he approaches retirement age while still working as a realtor, the growing workload involved with being on the select board has become less manageable.

“I’m not feeling the same level of enthusiasm that I was having when I first started... I’d rather play golf or go fishing,” he said in an interview Wednesday with the Gazette. “There’s definitely some people in town that could step in and be ready to do that job.”

Mr. Rossi moved to Chilmark from New Bedford in 1974, as a junior in high school.

“We’ve seen a lot of changes,” he said. “I remember when we first moved here, we were living on Tabor House Road... and it was a dirt road. They used to call it Dump Road.”

In the 1980s, Mr. Rossi joined the planning board, inspired to contribute to town governance after being awarded an affordable youth housing lot.

“In my '20s, I looked up to the people who were serving as selectmen at that time, and I just thought it might be something I would like to do,” he said.

First on the planning board, then during a 14-year stint on the zoning board, Mr. Rossi had a front-row seat to the changes coming to Chilmark.

“It was a pretty heady time back then. There was a lot of development, a lot of change happening,” he said. “There were a lot of battles, and at the end of the day I think it all kind of worked out.”

But though the pace of change was sometimes dizzying, Mr. Rossi said he also had to adjust to the slower, more deliberative pace required for the select board.

“You have a tendency to try to get things done quickly and efficiently in government....I had to learn and understand and accept that there’s a process involved with getting anything done.”

Among the projects involved during his time on the select board, Mr. Rossi noted the Fire-EMS building, the Squibnocket parking lot project and hiring a majority of new staff at town hall as some of the biggest achievements.

“I think we all worked together, all with the same goal of trying to, you know, keep Chilmark as special as we could,” he said.

“This is my way of being part of the community,” Mr. Rossi said of his time on the board. “It felt right for me. So, it’s been really good experience.”

Mr. Rossi’s term expires in April of this year.

“If you have a deep appreciation and understanding of what Chilmark is all about, I highly recommend it,” he said.