Poverty only a problem if seasonal workers stay put

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To the editor:

Wildwood was founded as a resort by the sea. It offered many things to the tourists and workers from the early 1900s to present day. It also was a known fact that when September arrived, seasonal workers no longer had jobs and had to follow the food chain. The seasonal workers knew that if they didn’t work, they didn’t have money to take care of themselves and their families.

So they would relocate south to other tourist towns until spring when they returned north.

It was even true for many business people.

Fast forward to about 2000: Housing stock in Wildwood with old rooming houses and apartment buildings selling cheap, absentee landlords and lax laws. The seasonal workers started staying here year round. Eight months out of the year, there is no work. Any town that has a population of unemployed, uneducated residents leads to higher crime rates in that city. No work equals more time to get into trouble.

Wildwood school administrator Greg Rohrman states that Wildwood schools have three and a half times greater student mobility rate than the state average of 10 percent. He just doesn’t want to understand that Wildwood is a resort town, with four months of employment each year. Students begin and end their education here each year, and the smart parents go elsewhere in the winter for jobs.

One only has to ride or walk around Wildwood to see most children are dressed and cared for, their parents have cars, cell phones and iPods. Many work and are paid cash. I would like to know how many are at the real poverty level. Many from other countries consider living here paradise, not poverty.

Why does the state, Wildwood and school officials paint Wildwood and the schools as poverty stricken and compare us to larger, heavily populated cities in the state? Let’s see the real number, not percentages, of children living in poverty in Wildwood, and if so, why, when there are so many state, county and local organizations and individuals to help them?

In closing, remember Wildwood is a tourist town. If you want to turn it into a poverty town, tear down the boardwalk and build more low income housing and everyone will move offshore.

Al Brannen

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