Property assessments are extremely sky high, in fact, insane! There are few jobs locally, with the same pay rate as 15 years ago. Many more locals are living in poverty, running out of food and heat. The local food bank ran out of food in winter 2013. The cost of living is the highest ever. The cost of heating is the highest ever.

And the result? People are moving out of Haines by the dozens. It’s clear to many that only the wealthy can afford to live here. When numbers of students drop, so does school funding. When low-income residents leave, so does a workforce, cash from taxes, etc. If Haines doesn’t address what’s going on there will be a huge exodus and businesses will suffer and the city will lose millions of dollars. As they say, it’s the economy! Better be worried more about that than making Haines look pretty. Pull your head out of the sand and talk to the public who are struggling to survive and you will find they don’t live on a trust income or are well-off retirees. They are the backbone of this town and they are about to bail ship! This town has to stand together less it falls apart. That means caring about the little guy or gal. More than 85 people I talked to this month agree with this.

Bill Archer