Appreciation for the Martha’s Vineyard Commission


To the Editor:

I want to recommend to all Vineyarders to go by Featherston Art Center for its outstanding exhibit about the Martha’s Vineyard Commission now celebrating its 50th year. The exhibit will remain up through March 30 from noon to 4 pm.

It was so meaningful to me to be reminded of how the Commission came into existence. Just to mention a few: the incisive roll of Henry Beetle Hough, the actual plans for a bridge connecting the Vineyard to the mainland and the proposal of part of the Island becoming a national park. Hurray for all the Vineyarders who worked so hard to maintain local governance through creating the MV Commission with the help of our state government. What a different island Martha’s Vineyard would be today were it not for the Commission’s year-round hard work both by the elected and appointed citizen commissioners and the professional staff. Thank you for the many hours you all spend reading, researching, discussing and working toward difficult decisions impacting us all. As a long time friend of an elected commissioner. I also know how meaningful it has been for her to be involved in our community in this manner. Do take the time to read each name of the many in our community who have served and inwardly express thanks to eac one. That made my day.

As a washashore myself 40 years ago, I am aware of how vital it is to protect the mixed economic and creative community the Vineyard is as well as protect its beauty and many species and natural resources. This winter’s three bad storms remind us how swiftly change can come and at what cost it will be to deal with the consequences. The very real shortage of affordable or even attainable year round housing has been impact us for a number of years. Witness the number of hospital employees and other kinds of workers who cannot who cannot find reasonable housing here. Just last year, I sought the help of a skilled appliance worker who travels four hours a day to provide us all services because he could find an affordable home on the mainland, but not here. I so hope all of us can continue to work together through the commission, our local towns and our housing and environmental nonprofits to maintain our vital community which also inspires and provides respite to those who visit and contribute to our overall economic viability.


Jean Hay

Vineyard Haven