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ISLANDERS
FIRST

I’m Concerned about the future of San Juan County.  Are we destined to be simply a high end community with zero livability for the labor force?  That is the direction we are heading and it must be stopped.  It is no secret that the “affordable housing options” in the county as a whole are sorely lacking.  Why is this happening?  Two reasons  - costs are soaring and permitting is a nightmare.

 

We live in an area that I believe to be the most glorious on earth.  But we continue to market the islands as the Marthas Vinyard of the west, and we continue to attract visitors,  part-timers and retirees.  Waterfront prices have soared to exclude any purchaser without millions in the bank.  Inland parcel prices have skyrocketed as well.  Supply and demand.  Permitting costs.  Property Taxes.  The inflex is not going away, nor should we want it to.

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WHAT ABOUT OUR LABOR FORCE?

But what about our labor force?  Those in the building and contracting industry, those who work in our grocery stores, our retail stores, our restaurants.  Where do our teachers and deputies live on the salaries they take home? Rents have gone sky high, and the median home price on the island is over $850,000.  The impossibility of the $18-$25/hour worker to purchase a first home is evident.  How does a young parent enter the workforce and pay for daycare?  We must work together with the state and our largest employers to find a way to subsidize the costs of daycare.

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