Until you saw his name on the ballot on Tuesday, you may not have known that Land Bank Commission member Allen Reinhard was running for reelection.
Reinhard, who was seeking his fifth term on the commission, didn't invest in yard signs or any campaign advertising. And it turns out, he didn't need to.
Reinhard defeated challenger Kelly Steffen by a wide margin on Tuesday, tapping a deep well of support that he has earned after spending decades volunteering on a slew of town boards and committees, while working in the conservation arena as the Nantucket Conservation Foundation's middle moors ranger. The final vote count? Reinhard tallied 1,244 ballots to Steffen's 719.
"I wasn't terribly worried," Reinhard said. "I used my personal, social channels to talk and let people know I was running - my network of friends. I'm delighted with the results."
While Steffen had run a more visible campaign - his yard signs dotting the island's roadways in the week ahead of Tuesday's election - Reinhard said that after meeting his challenger for a chat at Pip & Anchor earlier this year, he was confident in his chances.
"I asked him 'why are you running for Land Bank?' and he gave very general answers," Reinhard said. "I asked if he had been involved in town government and he hadn't. We chatted for a bit, it was a pleasant conversation. He was more curious as to what I was doing with the Land Bank, and so I gave him some background. I didn't feel he was a really serious contender."
Steffen, who works for the non-profit Process First and has been involved with food security initiatives on Nantucket, has a background in community development and applied economics and is a former member of the political action group ACK•Now’s advisory council.
Reinhard has served on the Land Bank since 2003, and will be entering his 21st year on the commission following his reelection on Tuesday. The former middle moors ranger for the Nantucket Conservation Foundation, Reinhard has served on numerous boards and committees over the years, including the Select Board, the Cemetery Commission, the Roads and Right-of-Way Committee, among others. But the Land Bank, he said, was probably his favorite.
"I'm excited because the Land Bank has a lot of projects in the works," Reinhard said. "These properties we’ve acquired and we’ve been working on planning - (the restoration of) Lilly Pond for example, right in the heart of downtown - I'm really looking forward to. Of all the things I’ve worked on, I don’t know how many committees, of all my involvement in town government, the Land Bank is by far the best organized, particularly under Jesse's (executive director Jesse Bell) leadership. We do things and we get things done. It’s an exciting time to be on the Land Bank Commission, and we certainly have resources."
2023 Nantucket Election Results
2,138 ballots cast | 22.8 percent turnout
Select Board race (two seats):
- Tom Dixon: 1,030 ✅
- Malcolm MacNab: 947 ✅
- Kathy Richen: 838
- Clifford Williams: 831
Land Bank race (one seat):
- Kelly Steffen: 719
- Allen Reinhard: 1,244 ✅
2023 Ballot Questions:
Question 1 - Supplemental funding for Surfside area roads reconstruction and transportation improvements | $13 million
- Yes: 1,174 ✅
- No: 673
Question 2 - Supplemental Funding For Landfill Closure Costs | $5 million
- Yes: 1,413 ✅
- No: 632
Question 3 - Supplemental Funding: Wauwinet Road Shared Use Path | $4.6 million
- Yes: 1,460 ✅
- No: 615
Question 4 - Appropriation for the Nobadeer Playing Fields Complex - Field Addition; Associated Renovations to Adjacent Fields; Site Enhancements | $3.8 million
- Yes: 1,044 ✅
- No: 984
Question 5 - Appropriation for General Fund Capital Expenditures | $970,000
- Yes: 1,427 ✅
- No: 634
Question 6 - Appropriation for Affordable Housing Trust Fund | $6.5 million
- Yes: 1,096 ✅
- No: 994
Question 7 - Appropriation: Fiscal Year 2024 Enterprise Funds Operations | $3.75 million
- Yes: 1,188 ✅
- No: 867
2023 Town Election | Uncontested Races:
- Sarah Alger: 1,847
School Committee (two seats)
- Tim Lepore: 1,742
- Shantaw Bloise: 1,488
Historic District Commission (two seats)
- Vallorie Oliver: 1,716
- Ray Pohl: 1,488
Harbor & Shellfish Advisory Board (two seats)
- Peter Brace: 1,664
- David Fronzuto: 1,676
Nantucket Housing Authority (one seat)
- Linda Williams: 1,378
Planning Board (one seat)
- Joseph Topham: 1,727
Water Commission (two seats)
- Curtis Barnes: 1,527
- Nelson Eldridge: 1,680