When people ask me what makes Martha’s Vineyard so special, I only have three words, “zoning, zoning and zoning.” For this we have the town zoning boards and the Martha’s Vineyard Commission and their protection of our land, the DRI (development of regional impact) and DCPC (district of critical planning concern) to thank. They are the watchdogs standing between us and the rest of America with it’s big box and chain stores, ugly plastic signs, malls and the rest of the hideous landscape of “over there.”

A 14.2 per cent increase in the commission’s budget seems to me a small price to pay. We should thank the unpaid commissioners for their dedication to keeping the Island as close to heaven as possible.

V. Jaime Hamlin
Vineyard Haven