Just asking: Should Oak Bluffs shoulder the burden?


To the Editor:

I have two points to make about the affordable housing story (Dec. 24, “Oak Bluffs affordable housing committee fights uphill battle”) and editorial (Dec. 24, “Dear Santa”) in last week’s paper.

Good reporting on the Oak Bluffs affordable housing scenario. Now, how about equally extensive reporting on the other towns? If/when the “doughnut hole” parcel gets swapped with the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank parcel and it is joined to the town-owned land fronting the Edgartown–Vineyard Haven Road, some nonprofit entity could build all kinds of housing for rent and/or sale for affordable housing.

The Oak Bluffs population (along with its elementary school and high school census) will increase, but its tax base will not. Already our elementary school is the largest by, I believe, 75 students, and we have the highest Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School assessment because we have the most students.

Please count the number of non-taxpaying properties that currently exist just on the Edgartown–Vineyard Haven Road between County and Barnes Roads. More than any other place I can think of on the Island.

My second point: If you think any town, but most particularly Oak Bluffs, can afford to have its school system join the hospital and business owners in the “down-Island development,” you haven’t been following the budget development stories in your own paper.

Also, are you trying to further the divide between down-Island and up-Island: one area for local workers and another for those not dependent on the local economy? Just asking.

Maura McGroarty

Oak Bluffs