To the editor:

I owe an apology to the folks in Conway who oppose short-term rentals for reasons other than the ones cited in the article earlier this week where I was quoted.

When asked about the issue I had just gotten off the phone with a heartbroken family who might have to sell their vacation home. They worked so hard to be able to afford it but can’t carry two mortgages without being able to rent it when they can’t use it.

Long-term rental is not an option for them as the main reason they bought it was to have an affordable place to take a vacation with their whole family. I was also lectured to by an irate local who told me his kids were grown and gone and he finally had a peaceful neighborhood only to have it “overrun with families with screaming kids.”

That also made me mad. But it was wrong of me to label everyone as in that group of elitists. That issue aside I must say I do wish we had some representation of younger, working age folk on our town select boards. When the average age is 70 you lose perspective on how your actions can negatively impact a huge segment of the community.

Here is hoping the two sides can come together before spending thousands of dollars in court on cases where no one is a real winner.

Kimberly Clarke

Fryeburg, Maine

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(2) comments


"When the average age is 70 you lose perspective..."

Actually, as you get older you gain wisdom based on your long life's experience. Younger people, and we were all there once, have a tendency to be a bit more myopic and impulsive when it comes to getting their "needs" met. They don't always consider all of the possible ramifications until it's too late to do anything about them. Or, they just don't care.

There's a lot of that going around these days when it comes to entitlement and instant gratification. And then of course there is the acceptance of responsibility when poor choices are made.

So, sometimes it's good to slow things up, take stock in what's happening, and think through all the possibilities before moving further "forward".

Not all new ideas are good ideas, even if they sound good initially.

And we haven't even touched on motive...

Lastly, as a Town Representative, try not to let every emotional phone call sway your thinking or drive your opinions. You're the person who is supposed to have the "big picture view" of what's going on. You should be offering guidance and perspective, not heated opinions. As they say, that's the job.

Gregory Wallace

Kimberly, the sympathy angle for your 2nd home rental friends is not going to fly with me. They took a chance like any investment "never risk what you cannot afford to lose."

Worse yet many of them do not include the "Meals and rooms tax." with the STR and it should appear on the receipt for their CUSTOMERS.. If they do not charge the tax they still have to pay it to the state themselves. Not doing so is tax evasion. They also have to include the monies paid on their Federal income taxes. There are many expenses we have to bear so that some people can rent out their 2nd homes. County expenses that drive up property taxes is a big one. Traffic congestion and issues with over crowding is also a consideration. Their 2nd home is not our problem to bear.

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