To the Editor:
The headlines read that SSA is again hiking its rates, and locals continue to wonder why they have to maintain two jobs to be able to pay their ordinary household bills. Merchants continue to wonder why they have difficulty with their bottom line and why more and more locals are buying as much merchandise as they can from online merchants like Amazon. Gosh, it is not that difficult to figure it out.
The high cost of living on the Vineyard appears to be directly related to the excessive charges of the SSA in bringing goods to our Island. The news article spells out that estimated operating expenses for 2014 will be roughly $85 million, which is an increase of $519,000 compared with 2013. Further along in the article, the SSA reports that increased charges for pension, health, and welfare costs for 2014 will be $654,000. Solution: solve the problem like other local employers by having their employees take on more of the burden of these extra employee costs.
We already know that the SSA has just about twice as many employees as are required by the Coast Guard. Does the SSA really need roughly six or seven employees directing traffic on loading and unloading of the vehicles onto the vessel, and then add another two employees to collect the tickets?
I am not a retailer, but I do shop online to save money. I used to regularly have breakfast at a local restaurant of French toast, home-fried potatoes, and coffee. However, costs are going up to the point that it cost more than $16 for just breakfast, and now I no longer enjoy this treat. Somehow, we need the members of the SSA to show some guts and hold the line on the increasing demands of their workers.