Rockport: a study in contradictions

Mon, 03/22/2021 - 12:45pm
As you may know, at the last Rockport Select Board meeting, three members of the Board agreed that the Board would go back on its most recent decision to table the issue of short term rental restrictions, and decided that a yes/no vote on these proposed restrictions would be on the June ballot in Rockport. 
The Town Manager has formulated the exact wording, at the behest of the Board, and will present his wording at the next Board meeting on March 22 at 5:30 p.m. via Livestream.  
Here is the wording from the most recent referendum, as it appeared on the June 2020 ballot, regarding the issue of fireworks in Rockport:
Non-Binding Referendum Article
Do you support a ban on the use of Consumer Fireworks in the Town of Rockport?
Explanation:  This is a non-binding question from the Select Board seeking opinion only.
Here is the wording as proposed by the Town Manager regarding short term rental restrictions in our town, to appear on the June 2021 ballot:
Article xx. Non-binding referendum.
Do you favor the development of a town ordinance that would regulate Short Term Rental (AirBnB, VBRO, etc.) activity in the Town of Rockport by requiring STR registration, requiring minimum safety standards be met, and that such ordinance be intended to strike a balance between the community’s quality of life while preserving the ability of STR owners to generate income?
Explanation: This is a non-binding question from the Select Board seeking your opinion only. If supported, the Town will draft an ordinance regulating short-term rentals as outlined above for a future vote. If not supported, the Town will not draft an ordinance for a future vote.
The first referendum on fireworks consists of an objective, direct explanation. The current referendum on restricting short term rentals is an editorial.
I advocate being informed and speaking out on matters that are important to you.
Thanks to each property owner who is knowledgeable about this profound schism in our town.
Marsha Steinglass lives in Rockport