We are approaching the birth of a new year, 2004. I would like extend my best wishes to the Virgin Islands community for a most progressive and prosperous new year. It is my hope that those in position of leadership in our community would take their role seriously and exercise with diligence their assigned task. I hope we will be able to identify persons with integrity and intelligence to represent us in government. It is unfortunate that we have changed so many of our elected representatives and we have not progressed in bringing under control our financial problems. They use the same old methods, with no creativity.
It is very apparent that our present elected representatives lack creativity in addressing our problems. Their lack of creativity is coupled with their lack of will to do what is required to correct the course of our government. Their quickest response to our financial situation is to raise taxes on an already overtaxed population, increasing the cost of living in the territory. These representatives do not heed the ideas presented by members of the community in different forums. Many ideas have been suggested, on many occasions, as to how we can reduce our deficit and increase our revenues.
One measure suggested by many is the curtailment of government renting of expensive properties and the rehabilitation and use of government-owned properties. Another is for the government to try to collect all of the monies it is owed. Another is to lease the Fort Christian parking lot in downtown Charlotte Amalie to a private enterprise.
We need to begin to elect honest, creative people with a proven track record of success in their particular fields of endeavor. If we truly believe we deserve better representation than we have been receiving, we should seek out the best options we have, to identify them and sponsor them to represent us in our government … The democratic process is not an automated process; people have to get involved, or not complain. Democracy requires vigilance by the electors to ensure that those elected and appointed public servants do what is required of them.
I truly believe we can bring our government under control if we only overlook our petty differences and join together as a community and demand better services from our public servants. They should know that there are consequences for betrayal of trust, for incompetence, for negligence, for malfeasance, for criminal acts. The consequences should be prompt and sure.
The Citizens Coalition for Better Government encourages all qualified persons of goodwill and integrity to accept our invitation to serve our government whether in an elected post or an appointed post. Help make a difference; make the sacrifice for a term or two. Be patriotic, be humble, make your contribution; your community needs you.
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