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HomeNewsArchivesDISTRICT SENATORS CALL ON ST. JOHN CONSTITUENTS

DISTRICT SENATORS CALL ON ST. JOHN CONSTITUENTS

Feb. 6, 2002 – Two St. Thomas-St. John district senators made the trip east across Pillsbury Sound on Wednesday to check out how things were going on St. John.
Sens. Carlton Dowe and Donald "Ducks" Cole made a whistle-stop tour of the island, stopping to chat up folks at the fire stations, the schools, the Motor Vehicle Bureau, the Calabash Boom Senior Citizen Center, and the Cruz Bay taxi stand.
Cole said that with budget hearings on tap in several months, he and Dowe wanted to see if the money they had appropriated for Fiscal Year 2002 has reached the various agencies for which is was intended.
"And we had lunch with the taxi drivers," Dowe said.
Cole said he tried to make the taxi drivers understand that the federal government is requiring the controversial tour operator fees that are set out in the new Commercial Services Plan implemented by the V.I. National Park. He said that if the V.I. government feels the federal government has overstepped its bounds with the fee program, it is up to the local government to take the federal government to court.
While Dowe had promoted his visit as a chance for his constituents to stop by the Legislature Building for a personal visit, he and Cole put in only a brief appearance there. Staff aides took down the names of the very few people who came by, and Cole said the senators will telephone them back.
Both senators said the trip pointed out the need for education system budgets to be school based, rather than controlled by the Education Department. For the schools on St. John, "the management of the schools should be on St. John," Cole said. He said it's ineffective for maintenance people and the like to come from St. Thomas to do work at St. John schools. Cole also said he learned that the Calabash Boom center lacks cable television.

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