2007-02-08 / Letters to the Editor

Affordable housing not needed here

I would like to address the editorial that Publisher Jeff Mc- Donough wrote in the Jamestown Press Feb.1.There are a few points that I do not agree with, and some that I do.

First, Mr. McDonough says that the words affordable and housing are "laughable" on Jamestown ...s o I ask why is it that he thinks this way ? He implies that young adults who make an honest living, such as teachers, carpenters, electricians or even plumbers can't expect to live here in Jamestown . . . so what!

As a young adult, I wanted to live on Jamestown in a mansion, but I knew that is not within my means to do so! So I worked hard and saved for many years, and earned the right to live here by buying a home here . . . Why should we hand it to someone that can't afford it?

Also, why does someone's profession have anything to do with being able to live here on Jamestown? There are lot of folks on this island, young and old, devoid of their profession, who work their tails off to live here . . . and yes, some are electricians, carpenters, teachers, plumbers etc.

Mr. McDonough, I have lived within my means my whole life, and if I could not afford to live in certain places, towns etc., guess what? I didn't live there . . . plain and simple. If people can't afford to live here or anywhere for that matter, then look elsewhere to live . . . within your financial means.

Why do we need affordable housing here on Jamestown? I know why. The town of Jamestown can and does continue to obtain certain state and or federal funds . . . being an island has nothing to do with it! So what if Jamestown has half of the number of affordable housing units that the state of RI deems necessary . . .doesn't mean we need them or more of them for that matter.

If Jamestown doesn't have the "necessary" affordable units, what happens? The state sinks the island of Jamestown? No, our town taxes will go up. . . . what else is new? Tell me something I don't know! But don't sit here and tell us that we need it! We don't!

What we probably won't get are certain funds from the state or federal governments . . . which is fine by me . . . the less government intervention the better for all of us . . . besides,they already get enough of all our money every day.

Mr. McDonough then says that these are not new problems . . . and that the islands like Block Island, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket have similiar problems, and that they have become playground's for the rich . . . again, I say so what!

That's their problem, not Jamestown's. I don't know if Mr. McDonough has noticed or not, but the last time I looked there were not any bridges connected to any of those islands mentioned above. they are in the true sense islands where you either fly or take a ferry to them . . . here on Jamestown there are two bridges in and out of town...people can come and go as they please. and if they can afford it they can live where they want.

Again, I certainly don't expect affordable housing because I can't afford to live here.

For the people who want to live on Jamestown . . . then by all means please do so . . . I say Welcome! But you have to actually work and work harder and save the money to do so . . . it used to be the "American Way". . . do not expect hand outs for housing here or anywhere. This is what the state of RI and the town of Jamestown are promoting,so we can get more funding the more we build these affordable units. People need to make it affordable for their family by their efforts at work, not because the town of Jamestown and the state "deem" it so.

There is no such thing as a free lunch . . . somewhere we have to pay. I do agree with Mr. Mc- Donough on a real estate transfer tax should be implemented here for open space, water concerns, sewage, town barn etc.

He is correct that it is ridicoulous that transfer taxes will depress the real estate values and choke sales here. What is really going to effect the town of Jamestown's real estate values is building more affordable housing.

The town has been not been able to figure out the water issues here or the highway barn for many many years . . . why should we believe they can figure out that we need more affordable housing?

Hello . . . is anyone home?

Peter Salvatore,

Jamestown

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