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Herb Schoenbohm Wants Your Vote

May 31, 2007 – A resident of the Virgin Islands since 1968, I have participated in the last three Constitutional Convention attempts as a news reporter. I know well the failures of previous attempts of proposed Constitutions that going far beyond the basic rights of the people and the structure of government itself were doomed to rejection. Let me first say that any ideology that creates an us and them view (which often translates to an us versus them view) generally of continental Americans or people from the Eastern Caribbean in the Virgin Islands should never be in a VI Constitution. Inclusion, not exclusion is the key word and the path to success.
My education includes a B.A. Degree from the University of Minnesota with a major in Geography with an emphasis on political Geography and Climatology. The first two years of College was at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois where my major interest was political science and constitutional government structure. The writing of a model State Constitution was perhaps the most rewarding course assignment. I have traveled and/or worked in many parts of the world including South America and West Africa in the telecommunications area.
Realizing that the Virgin Islands centralized bureaucratic government today is in failure mode and only a reorganization of the professional political culture to a more decentralized government structure will prevent ultimate collapse. By reducing the overall size of government and concentrating on a constitutional structure of government that checks profligate growth and spending the course to fiscal ruin can be avoided.
We must strive to make sure that people with a stake in the process are able to help decide that process. Our present government doesn't support this concept those in power who do not live on St. Croix make most decisions from St. Thomas for St. Croix. Insular districts, municipal councils, and perhaps even a bi-cameral legislature will bring about a more representative government. People in that community should decide issues that affect the people of that community. Government from the bottom up rather than from the top down is a good fundamental principle to which responsible leadership can adopt.
In order to write a suitable and workable V.I. Constitution I would like to offer every reader a chance to examine my submission of a model draft V.I. Constitution. This will give every reader a chance to redact, change, correct, and edit a basic document that forms the template for the work to be done. Kindly send me e-mail to herbs@vitelcom.net and I will send you an excellent model draft Virgin Islands Constitution. This draft provides for a self executing provision for local government, a unicameral legislature with a unicameral alternative; a Secretary of State rather than a Lt. Governor; and an order of succession which goes through the Senator president rather than Commissioners. In this draft document the Governor is always the governor whether in Washington, D.C. or in neighboring Puerto Rico.
Thanks for your consideration of my views,
Herbert Schoenbohm
Box 24261
Christiansted, VI 00824
(340) 690-1049, 24/7 cell

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