Don't Let Billionaires Turn Nantucket Into A Playground For The Ultra-Rich: Vote Yes On 59

Philip Ross •

To the editor: As a year-round Nantucket resident who loves our Island, it is frustrating to see a billionaire attempt to manipulate resident opinions about the short-term rental issue to make Nantucket a playground for the ultra-rich only. By getting some residents to be hostile and sue their neighbors, this billionaire-led group has managed to put our economy in jeopardy by winning one of their court cases. This group is threatening our property rights. If you care about your island co-residents and believe in a vibrant economy on Nantucket, I urge you to VOTE YES on Article 59 at the Town Meeting on May 7th.

Look around you at island residents. Most need short-term rentals from time to time to afford to stay on Nantucket. Don’t hurt your friends who own property on-island by banning property rights - that favors only the rich who don’t ever need to rent.

Without the ability to rent their own homes as short-term rentals, many year-round residents would be unable to live here. Short-term rentals are needed not only to accommodate tourists. They are needed for our workforce as many small business owners provide housing for their seasonal workforce. Without the ability to provide short-term housing, many businesses will close and lay off workers. Many people who have called Nantucket home for generations would no longer be able to afford to live here. Limiting short-term rentals would decimate our seasonal economy and ruin the lives of many workers. We cannot let this happen. If you care about people on Nantucket, you will vote yes on Article 59 at the Town Meeting on May 7th.

I cannot state strongly enough how disappointing it is that some people support hurting others in this way. Common sense tells you that banning short-term rentals on Nantucket would result in fewer people on-island during the season – this may sound idyllic to the rich, but this would be a disaster for our local economy and tax rolls. Banning short-term rentals would put restaurants and stores out of business (how many of them already closed in the off-season!). But that is exactly what this billionaire group wants. They want to make Nantucket a private enclave for the super-wealthy only. Everyone else will suffer and they don’t care about the middle class. As a proud Nantucket resident, I think they are wrong.

At the Town Meeting on May 7th, let’s show these billionaires that Nantucket people do care about each other and our property rights by voting yes on Article 59.

– Philip Ross

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