Nantucket County Sheriff Jim Perelman will seek reelection to his third term in office. He pulled his nomination papers today, and is gathering signatures from registered voters to run in the November election. As of today, there are no challengers.
“I hope I’ve done a good job and represented the citizens of Nantucket in a good way over the past 12 years,” Perelman said. “The big part of my job is being out there helping people and answering their questions. Sometimes they’re afraid to go to another agency, but they’re not afraid to come to me.”
Perelman, the former owner of The Boarding House restaurant on Federal Street, had a successful catering business and also served as a court officer before he decided to run for the Nantucket County Sheriff position in 2010 and take on a two-term incumbent Richard Bretschneider. Perelman defeated Bretschneider, who was embroiled in controversies including an ethics complaint, in a landslide. He was reelected handily in 2016.
“I like what I’m doing and all along I’ve been working with probation and the courts,” he said. “I feel like I’m helping the community and I want to continue.”
The Nantucket County Sheriff’s office is something of an oddity. It is by far the smallest sheriff’s office in the state, and the only one in Massachusetts that does not operate a jail or correctional facility. The island’s sheriff office has a small staff of three full-time employees and some part-time staffers, and its primary duty is transporting prisoners to and from the Barnstable County Correctional Facility.
The Nantucket sheriff is also responsible for serving civil process such as eviction notices and court-ordered child support, resolving landlord-tenant disputes, and handling sheriff sales of real estate in foreclosure cases. The fees collected for civil process – roughly $10,000 to $12,000 annually – are distributed back into the community by Perelman through grants to nonprofits like A Safe Place and Fairwinds Counseling Center.
Perelman has gotten involved with numerous community programs and also assists the Nantucket Police Department in a variety of functions.
Last year the state approved a $13,000 raise for Perelman, the first he had received in more than six years, bringing his annual compensation to $108,000. The salary is significantly less than his counterparts on the mainland in recognition of the island’s lack of a correctional facility.