It’s hard to imagine anyone who cares more about Tisbury than planning board co-chairman Henry Stephenson. He thinks deeply about the town and he has a nuanced and practical sense of design. His Stop & Shop letter several weeks ago was right on the mark, in my view.

No hyperbole, no careless inaccuracies — quite simply, the most cogent and thoughtful alternative plan to date.

I hope the Martha’s Vineyard Commission will heed his specific suggestions about decreasing building size, increasing setbacks, re-designing the municipal parking lot, Water street congestion, Union street traffic flow and added transportation services. I hope the MVC will condition the project in the realistic ways he suggests.

I also want to call attention to something that has been sadly absent from the Stop & Shop discussion. The Martha’s Vineyard Commission has a responsibility to promote appropriate economic development. I hope the MVC will add to its conditions — if and when it approves a better, scaled-down version of the plan that is before it — that Stop & Shop will be required to provide full-time jobs with full benefits at living wages.

We need good jobs. Part-time jobs at low wages are harmful and unprincipled. Stop & Shop and its parent, Ahold, can afford decency. It is within the powers of the MVC to require such decency. And we cannot afford to accept less.

John Abrams
West Tisbury