It was with dismay and disbelief that I read of the Chilmark selectmen’s desire to inflict economic hardship on the outstanding cultural services for Island adults and children offered by the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival, Rotary Club, the Chamber Music concert series and the now long-standing and most successful Women’s Symposiums.
How infinitely greedy and shortsighted these selectmen appear to be! Talk of killing the goose that laid the golden egg; four such geese appear to be currently in mortal danger. Such an unexpected financial punishment on these thriving, deserving and beloved enterprises by increasing rental charges is somewhat understandable and perhaps warranted for wear, tear and repairs on the property. But then to demand a further 20 per cent of the meager profits/contributions derived from these dedicated, hard-working contributors and organizers appears bereft of any sense or sensibility. It is in this reader’s opinion unconscionable.
If I’m not mistaken, despite having the highest-priced real estate on the Island, Chilmark reputedly enjoys the lowest tax rate. Perhaps a slight rise in property taxes on Chilmark residents might be a preferable method to raise funds rather than bleeding our finest up-Island artistic and cultural organizations dry. Such an inflicted toll might make survival even more precarious than currently, especially for the MVFF. I am frankly appalled and ashamed of you, Chilmark selectmen.