Island Community Needs To Unite & Vote "YES" On Article 59

Megan Hinton •

To the editor: I urge Nantucket residents to stand together and vote "YES" on Article 59 at the upcoming Town Meeting on May 7. Our island's economy and employment opportunities are vulnerable, and Nantucket cannot afford to let it falter.

I am the owner and manager of a Nantucket house I inherited from my late mother, Anne Hinton. Prior to her recent passing she was a long-time year-round Nantucket resident. For thirty years my mother and I have generated community, inspiration, creativity, and business on the island. My mother’s house is a place I call home and frequent year-round. My permanent residence is on Cape Cod, close by and accessible to the island. As a resident of the Cape & Islands region I understand firsthand the importance of short-term rentals in preserving our economies. In the summer season I rent the Nantucket property to subsidize my income that helps support my career as an artist. I come to the island regularly to stay at the house. It’s a home base to gain inspiration and work on my paintings, do business showing and selling work in Nantucket galleries and shops, and be amongst a community of island friends. For me, like others here, short-term renting is a financial necessity and a lifeline to maintain a family home and career.

There is a symbiotic relationship between tourism and our local businesses. Our renters love the island and support its economy by frequenting boutiques and restaurants. They sustain a network of island-based contractors, service providers, local people, and friends.

The threat posed by those seeking to dismantle property owner rights cannot be understated. We cannot allow the interests of a privileged few who seek a type of gated community to jeopardize the livelihoods of our culture and community. The passage of Article 59 is not just about protecting short-term rentals; it's about safeguarding the very foundation of our island's economy and the financial security of full and part time residents.

Please unite with a YES vote in support of Article 59 on May 7.

- Megan Hinton, visual artist and educator

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