81.4 F
Cruz Bay
Saturday, December 3, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesST. CROIX IS SHORTCHANGED BY BOARD VACANCIES

ST. CROIX IS SHORTCHANGED BY BOARD VACANCIES

Dear Source,
Gov. Charles Turnbull's refusal to nominate qualified citizens to fill board and commission vacancies continues to shortchange the interests of the residents of St. Croix. It's a known fact that the board of trustees of the University of the Virgin Islands is absent two members from the St. Croix private sector, while the V. I. Port Authority board also operates with two vacant chairs that should be filled with Crucians. This vacuum of opinion does not allow for a balanced representation of the citizens of all islands; instead, St. Croix has little or no voice in the actions of some of these government agencies.
As a case in point, just recently, the Port Authority board met to discuss a number of issues, one of which was a proposal by Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines to allow fuel bunkering on St. Thomas. As I understand it, the Port Authority staff recommended that the board not accept the proposal for two main reasons. The first one was that if Royal Caribbean was allowed to bunker fuel on St. Thomas, the action diminished the chances of St. Croix attracting the cruise line back to its port in Frederiksted where fuel bunkering is available. The second reason was an environmental one; as the St. Thomas harbor is not a naturally flushing harbor, an oil spill could cause much damage.
Despite the reasons articulated by the Port Authority staff, the board members at the meeting, consisting of three from St. Thomas and only one from St. Croix, took the opposite tack and voted to approve Royal Caribbean's proposal. The only dissenting vote came from the St. Croix member. The outcome of this vote may well have been different if the Port Authority board had fair representation from St. Croix. It's interesting to note that the Port Authority staff, and in particular Executive Director Gordon Finch, were the group arguing for the interests of St. Croix.
This is but one example in a string of many, of how the people of St. Croix have not been and still are not being fairly treated by the present administration. Their interests are not being served, their voices are not being heard, and their futures are not being considered by Gov. Turnbull. St. Croix needs and deserves better, as we all do.
John de Jongh
St. Thomas
Candidate for Governor
We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.
Publisher's note : Like the St. John Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice … click here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.