Eight candidates, including six incumbents, are running for seven seats on the Dukes County Commission this year. In advance of the election, the Gazette emailed questions to all the candidates.


John S. Alley of West Tisbury, a justice of the peace, said the commission provides a regional solution to problems.



When John Alley was a kid, his Uncle Fred would pay him to mow the lawn at the West Tisbury cemetery. One day, just as he was leaning over between two headstones, he felt a hand on his shoulder. Young John headed for the hills.

“That was it! I lost the lawnmower and ran,” remembered Mr. Alley, thinking one of his silent friends had come back from the dead. Turns out it was just Prudy Whiting letting young John know that her father’s sheep were on the loose.


Grange Hall

The West Tisbury Grange No. 251, one of the Island’s oldest social and fraternal organizations, has disbanded. The last meeting was held more than a week ago. The master of the Grange, John S. Alley, removed the charter from the building on Wednesday. He plans to return the framed, yellowed 105-year old document to the Boston headquarters.

It was a sad moment for this ordinarily cheerful West Tisbury resident whose memories of the organization go back for many years.


County Hopefuls

It may not be the most controversial thing on the ballot, but the race for the Dukes County Commission is probably the most complicated.

There are three seats to fill; terms for John Alley of West Tisbury, Leonard Jason Jr. of Chilmark, and Roger Wey of Oak Bluffs are all ending. Mr. Wey is not seeking reelection.

Voters will see three names on the ballot when they vote Tuesday: John Alley, Leonard Jason and Linda Sibley, a former county commissioner from West Tisbury.


Under pressure, John Alley this week resigned his position as a member of the Dukes County Contributory Retirement System.

"It's all foolishness and I resigned. I didn't attend enough meetings over the course of the three or four-year span," he said.

Following his reappointment to the retirement board at last week's meeting of the county commissioners, Mr. Alley, county chairman, came under fire from Noreen Flanders, retirement board chairman and county treasurer.