The 24th Legislature of the Virgin Islands took an untenable position when it chose to override the Governors veto of Legislation to allow the vendors to return to Drakes Seat. This matter has been taken to court, where it was determined that the vendors were there illegally. Other issues, raised by all the parties, are still before the court. The Legislature should not have taken any action since the court has not yet rendered its decisions. The matter may now be complicated with Constitutional issues surrounding the separation of powers.
The Leagues position remains that there should be no vendors at any of our overlooks because this activity detracts from the quality of the experience for residents and visitors alike.
Where the Drakes Seat location is concerned, one question raised is whether or not ownership or easement rights were granted by the Fairchild/Wheaton family. If ownership rights were conferred, then the government might have been found to have the right to grant vendor sites at that location, If an easement was granted to the government, then the privileges given to the people of the Virgin Islands are limited to the specific uses spelled out in the easement, while the ownership of property remains with the Fairchild/Wheaton family. Giving an easement (permission) for specific uses, is not the same thing as granting ownership rights.
Until all the legal issues are settled in Court, we face the possibility that our Legislature may have done irreparable harm by overriding this veto.
Erva A. Denham
President, V.I. League of Women Voters
SENATOR'S SHOULD HAVE AWAITED COURT DECISION
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