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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, May 30, 2024
HomeNewsArchives1917, 2001: VIRGIN ISLANDS ARE SOLD OUT AGAIN

1917, 2001: VIRGIN ISLANDS ARE SOLD OUT AGAIN

Dear Source,

A big Thank you to all who raised their voices to veto the Botany Bay rezoning from R1 low density residential to R3. Your voices were heard! You did make a difference! You just made it more difficult for the Governor to sell us out again. To ease his conscience, the Governor justifies signing the R3 zoning due to the "economic downturn" in the Virgin Islands.
How does an R3 zoning help the economy of the Virgin Islands when the recommendation of the Planning and Natural Resources Department would only prevent the developers from drastically changing their plans or selling the property with the new zoning to other developers? How can there be an "economic downturn" with Government employees promised raises and steps? Are vendors getting paid? Vendors are voters too.
The governor's signing the Botany Bay rezoning as is, confirms all the things that "they say" went down. The rezoning WAS guaranteed! So what "they say" must be true, the Governor got the FEMA loan forgiven, the senators were paid off, "they say" along with many other government officials. "They say" a lot of money was passed out.
Let me make myself very clear, I am not against the developers or development. I am against the way the governor and the senators continue to disregard the will of the people. I am against injustice!
So when we run out of property to rezone, or the Virgin Islands are no longer appealing to developers or tourist what are we going to give away to boost the economy? Will it be Pearson Gardens, Bluebeards Apartments, Donoe, maybe even Bovoni? They all have excellent views. Probably the only thing saving Tutu High Rise right now, it sits in the middle of a large residential development of "us". We never really know what is given away until we wake up the next day – if we wake up.
Every time a major development comes to town we hear how this development will be good for the economy. We’ll have lots of jobs, training, vendors will make money. Who are we fooling? Don't you think by now we should have the most fluid economy with all the development that has taken place over the years?
What else did we give Botany Bay Partners and other developers under the sham of boosting the economy? Are they getting 90 percent exemption on local income taxes; 100 percent exemption on dividends (money made from investments); 100 percent exemption on Gross Receipts; 100 percent exemption on property taxes; ten percent on excise taxes?
What do these developments pay besides salaries? How do we sustain / maintain government salaries, services, infrastructure? So what are Mr. [Louis] Willis and the V.I. Bureau of Internal Revenue collecting and from whom?
1917: The Virgin Islands and its inhabitants were sold to the United States for 25 million dollars, with no input from the people.
December 2001: Governor Charles Turnbull signed rezoning of Botany Bay, even though the people called for the veto. St. Thomas was sold out by the governor and eight senators, and for how much?
So we were sold out once again! It’s about time we did the buying! So let's stop the bellyaching. We all know money talks and all the other stuff is unimportant. Are we ready to put our money where our mouths are? Are we willing to trust each other enough to pool our dollars together to be in a position to buy a condo, an acre of land, a membership? When we financially control our future, our destiny is financially secure.
"There is more than one way to skin a cat", Governor and Senators, we will remember in November!
Stephanie Scott-Williams
Women For Positive Change

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

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