The Prosser deal should be rejected.
When George Jacobus got his incentive package an acquisition of a palliative was offered the people of St. Croix, concerned about maintaining our quality of life. That was that — despite the cushy deal that Jacobus got regarding zoning only a small part of the development right would ever be used.
The potential to develop a community, larger than Christiansted, in the midst of our largest green space was said merely to allow flexibility.
Now that the Carambola property is being sold the people of the island have been presented with a deal reminiscent of the 60s.
In exchange for questionable security the members of the largest voter group the Virgin Islands, civil service, are being presented a bill of goods. Insiders are posed to receive benefits for pennies on the dollar.
Buying at liquidation and trading for a full retail price, which would otherwise be unlikely to be realized for decades if ever.
The effect is one of depressing other property prices, destroying green space and creating a demand for housing and public services in a difficult to service section of the island. We do not need a repeat of the sort of policies which buried our one most fertile estate, Anguilla, under thirty feet of low grade toxic waste.
If we want to obtain a real resolution to our problems, it can't be one of short term economic expedients. If we must rely on tourism for our economy let it be in forms which balance the desire to make money from development with a respect for the ecology and quality of life.
What we should be doing now is offering incentives to private employers to pick up civil servants a few days per week. Tax incentives should be tied more directly to salary and training. It should be obvious by now that while unemployment is a problem so are civil service hours that can't be properly funded.
Richard Bond, St. Croix
Editors' note: Richard Bond is a new business development specialist for Cambridge Capital Corporate Finance of Boston, a former advisor to the Virgin
Islands IDC and agent for the public/private Caribbean Mahogany Reforestation Seed Project on St Croix.