To the Editor:
Today I attended the meeting that the Steamship Authority had at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum about their mission statement. While the comments were wide-ranging, our representative Marc Hanover was there, and it was both startling and eye-opening to hear what he had to say. I will draw attention to two comments, the first, that the SSA’s vaunted advertising budget of over $1 million, with the considered tagline of “lowest fares to the Islands,” has apparently convinced him it only applies to or is directed to day-trippers and walk-on passengers. I’m not sure why he feels like such an advertisement is directed toward those passengers when there is nothing specific in the ads that indicate that; it seems bizarre that he would support such unclear advertising copy. Does anyone really think that those ads only apply to walk-on passengers? Ridiculous. Is that how they are defending $1 million in expenditures that could go toward productive administrative positions? I would have to imagine that at least a handful of vacationers who took their car over were enticed to be sarcastic about it.
Mr. Hanover also flat-out stated that the problem that we find that is drawing so many visitors to the Island had to do with building more houses. Give us break, sir. We are not idiots. Is that what they are telling you on the SSA board, or is that what you are telling them? Because I think it’s safe to say that the 100 or 200 more houses that are built here over the course of a year are not drawing an extra 1,000 or 2,000 cars or an extra however many thousand day-trippers.
Mr. Hanover seems to have his own brand of mathematics. We need a voice that protects us. He has bought into what the board is telling him to think, but it’s not too late. He still lives here, and maybe the common sense that brought him to the Island will prevail. The legacy we leave behind is permanent.