Letter: Do we want families here or not?
Mathews County Administrator Steve Whiteway commented last week that the reason why Mathews’s census is down is because we do not offer jobs to keep people here. Let’s go one step further. Dr. Holleran commented the week before that the Mathews school children census was down.
I have lived in Mathews since 1996; I haven’t seen much, if any, change in the job availability here. Most people do not have a problem with commuting, then or now. However, the number of families moving here has changed.
Why? Because the average family income will not support the price of a house here; i.e., cannot afford a house here. Simple as that! In 1996, the assessment price of an acre on our rural land was $6,000. The next assessment, done by outsiders, was $30,000. Today, it is $60,000 an acre, still labeled rural. Absurd. An average family can afford a mortgage of about $150,000. There are few houses here for that. In a half-mile radius of our home, eight houses are second houses. These people do not pay taxes here, nor do they send their children here, nor, for that matter, do they spend much money in Mathews as we seldom, if ever, see them. A house on our road has been for sale for over 15 years. Several in our vicinity have been for sale for several years. Do we want families here or not?