To the Editor:
For many years I have had more battles than I would have liked with The MV Times concerning its reporting on several Island issues that I have been involved with.
I personally could care less that they buy their ink by the barrel, but the reporting on the Tisbury selectmen’s meeting (Dec. 11, “Tisbury selectmen defer decision on tax rate”), which stated that “few people spoke in favor of the existing policy,” is not true.
Many residents who qualify for the exemption spoke up. These included disabled combat veterans, the veterans’ agent speaking on behalf of elderly veterans and widows of veterans, senior citizens, and some town employees; one young native woman who is expecting her first child very soon and had just finished building her first home in Vineyard Haven after working four jobs for as long as I have known her spoke about how this will also help her new family. They all spoke very passionately about how helpful this has been for those who qualify.
A couple of Vineyard Haven realtors, including one who was mine when we were trying to sell our home here, spoke about how helpful and important the exemption is to the qualified, as we all support their businesses throughout the winter once their rich and second-homeowner customers return to wherever.
A couple of business owners used some pretty lame excuses compared with the reasons given by those qualified for the exemption. If one looks at the list of those who fall into the exemption category, these could be considered “earned benefits,” quite unlike all the costly benefits received by the “nondeserving” on our Island, in our state, and in our country.
The Times once again sided with the businesses, maybe because they are its bread and butter through advertising.
Although The Times is based in Vineyard Haven, they quite often seem to have a bone to pick with Tisbury town government, based on their negative views and reporting. But now they are taking a hit at the year-round residents.
Hopefully Selectman Tristan Israel, who has always had the support of citizens like us specifically on this matter, will prevail, and the other two selectmen will unanimously approve either keeping it the same or increasing it.