Our Economy And Our Community Hang In The Balance: Yes On 59

Michele Kolb •

To the editor: I implore all Nantucket residents to stand united and resoundingly vote YES on Article 59 at the upcoming Town Meeting on May 7. The fate of our island's economy and the very fabric of our community hang in the balance, and we cannot afford to let it falter.

As someone deeply intertwined in Nantucket’s community, owning multiple short-term rentals and an architectural firm on the island, I bear firsthand witness to the indispensable role short-term rentals play in preserving the essence of our community. For many, including myself, short-term renting isn't merely a financial necessity but a lifeline to maintain properties that we wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise.

Proudly invested in the welfare of our island, I find it incomprehensible that we would consider allowing a select few to erode the bedrock of our economy. It's imperative to recognize the vital relationship between tourism and our local businesses. Short-term rental visitors are not only patrons of our boutiques and eateries but also sustain island-based contractors and service providers, fortifying our workforce and knitting our community together.

Nevertheless, the gravity of the threat posed by those seeking to curtail property owner rights cannot be overstated. We cannot permit the interests of a privileged minority to imperil the livelihoods of countless families and the very essence of our community. The passage of Article 59 isn't solely about protecting short-term rentals; it's about safeguarding the very cornerstone of our island's economy and the financial stability of our residents.

Tourism saved our island’s economy when whaling ended and has sustained us for nearly two centuries. We must rally together in unequivocal support of Article 59 to ensure the enduring prosperity of Nantucket for generations to come.

I implore each and every one of you to stand shoulder to shoulder with me in voting YES on Article 59 at the Town Meeting on May 7. Our collective future hangs in the balance, and the stakes are far too high to be disregarded.

Michele Kolb

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