86.8 F
Cruz Bay
Sunday, October 2, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesVirgin Islands Needs a Constitutional Convention

Virgin Islands Needs a Constitutional Convention

Dear Source
I have been following the effort to create a Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands with interest. The move for a superior court seems irrational when we consider that St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John continue to be denied municipal government, government closest to the people. It is, in my opinion, ill advised to continue to attempt to reorganize our government in a piecemeal fashion, without a thought for convening a Constitutional Convention to address all issues in a comprehensive manner.
I was shocked that a certain senator would even compare our situation with that of the Northern Marianas, a group of Pacific Islands with a population of 78,000 more or less.
The Northern Marianas with a compact with the United States have adopted their own Constitution which;
* Provides for an Appeals Court;
* Made strong provisions for a Civil Service;
* Provides for a legislature that meets twice a year for no more than 90 days to act on territorial issues;
* Sets a salary for Legislators of $ 8000 per year, with a Legislature devoid of a host of political campaigners;
* Provides for municipal government on each Island, with mayor and council, to provide for purely local island issues;
* Has set a limit on the legislature's budget;
* Provides for an auditor with a stipulated budget;
What is it that we should be comparing? A Supreme Court that the 25th
Legislature wants to create? To benefit whom? At whose expense?
The present system, in my opinion, is quite adequate until Virgin Islanders decide in a Constitutional Convention otherwise.
Our present Legislature, elected, unlike the Marianas', from no representative island districts, is certainly lacking in certain cares as they demonstrate. And, the Judiciary, though performing quite well, may very well be tainted by the reports in certain Inspector General's Reports to the Congress.
Our efforts to improve government must be comprehensive and should be reflected in our adopted Constitution.
Arnold M. Golden
St. Croix

Editor's note: 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. Thomas 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.