In Wednesday’s newspaper it was reported that Senator Carlton Dowe special- ordered a bill to the floor of the legislature for the purpose of building a drag strip on St. Thomas. Amazingly enough fourteen of the fifteen senators voted for it (Senator Usie Richards was absent). Senator Dowe justifies this gem of an idea because “we have a problem with these young people racing in the streets.” Other senators commented that they hoped that the drag strip will occupy the time of young people and lessen the violence in the streets. So, I guess they want to reward lawbreakers by giving them a place they can call their own with government -subsidized entertainment instead of cracking down on illegal activities and in the end getting the taxpayer to front the bill for the whole scheme. There are several questions I have that pertain to this proposal but first and foremost is “Are they all crazy??”
I suppose Senator Dowe and his colleagues will also want to build a shooting gallery for everyone who owns illegal firearms. Maybe we buy new fishing nets and new boats for all the poachers who are destroying our marine life. Maybe we….. I will allow the reader to go on from here but you can imagine what else our legislature can come up with in an election year. That is right, an election year. Our government is billions of dollars in debt to everyone, our school system does not provide what is needed for our children, we are understaffed in both the police and fire departments, there is raw sewage flowing everywhere you can step or swim, but they want to build a drag strip???
The senators are very adept at ordering up presents for small groups of constituents especially when we voters are making our decisions in a couple of months. They all know that those bills will never come to fruition, that they will never be financed. They figure that the Finance Department will just say that they don’t have the money but the senator(s) will look good for proposing the bill. I guess I can hope that Senator Dowe and the other senators had this in mind but anyone else in their right mind might believe that they have lost theirs.
I urge Senator Dowe to re-think this measure and re-fix in his mind what the priorities for the territory should be. I don’t see drag racing at the top of the list.
Michael A. Monagle, St. Croix