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Regulate housing at the county level, not town by town

.Adobe Stock/Stephen VanHorn -

Regarding the story “Housing woes hinder hiring across sectors” (Page A1, Aug. 2), I moved here from Maryland in 1990. The cost of housing almost kept me from making the move. That the state has more than 300 towns didn’t phase me because I knew the towns were contained within counties. I was used to that; Maryland has more than 20 counties. What I didn’t realize was that Massachusetts counties were powerless as compared to the towns. The word “decentralized” in the article is a euphemism for “town governed.” I’ve seen enough of the consequences of our model to conclude it adds unnecessary overhead to government (police chiefs, fire chiefs, school superintendents for each city and town). And the ability to segregate by town is well known here. I hadn’t thought as much about the impact on housing, but my guess is it would be a lot easier to deal with affordable housing issues at the county level.

Rick Schrenker


North Reading