To the Editor:
I’ll admit it, my wife and I are wash ashores. The first time that we saw the village of Vineyard Haven,19 years ago, we fell in love with the dynamic harbor scene, the lovely village center, and the waterfront “summer homes.” A few years later, we realized that all of that wasn’t Vineyard Haven/Tisbury, because the true beauty of the place is the kids behind the counter at Mocha Mott’s, the fishermen dragging for scallops in November, the teachers, walking guards, Camp Jabberwocky, nurses, veterans at Memorial Park, carpenters, electricians, volunteer firemen, etc., etc., etc. that make up the main fabric of what I call a community.
Although vital to our town’s health, these folks are being asked, once again, to carry yet another burden on their backs in addition to the high costs of heating oil, mortgages, gasoline, medical, and food bills. They need every break they can get just to stay on the Island. If not, they will be forced to leave.
Contrary to what some may believe, not every year-round resident of Tisbury is well-off, has an investment portfolio, a second home, or a trust fund. The removal of a two percent tax break for all year-round Islanders by a few selectmen, as a means to level the playing field in order to comfort and secure the largess of well-off folks who live off-Island is shameful.
We need to keep in mind for future elections the names of current selectmen and others who have chosen today to remove this two percent tax break and are publicly advising the removal of the remaining 18 percent in the near future. These folks don’t get it. We need to elect selectmen like Tristan Israel who have the backbone to stand up to this mindset that, if carried out, will contribute to the unraveling of the vibrant fabric of our year-round community. We must work hard together to support our neighbors.