Editors, Vineyard Gazette:
The following letter was sent to the Chilmark selectmen.
The request for allowing eating establishments to obtain liquor licenses is troubling. The fact that Chilmark remains dry while others have not should never be a reason to change the character of the Menemsha village. How it could impact the town and its future should be thoroughly examined before a decision is made in favor of one request.
But there is a larger matter of concern with this request. The real question to be asked regards just how much control one interest should have over the businesses in the town. The request for liquor comes from one party owning two of the three dining establishments. This same party owns a fourth of the snack bars. The worry is that unfair advantage will be given to those with the deepest pockets to the detriment of several local families wishing to make an honest living in continuing harmony with the others.
The Sam Walton family started their empire with the admitted strategy of squeezing, out-pricing, buying out, and eventually eliminating the neighborhood businesses. We know how that affected main street, USA. On a smaller scale, that could become the situation here. Please be wise and unswayed by fame and fortune.
Are those orange traffic cones at the base of North Road under your purview? They are unsightly and unwelcoming as you enter the village.
Consider reading this at next week’s hearing.
Sue and Alan Parkes, Chilmark