We accept it as almost inevitable that any storm system passing through the territory will result in disruption of service. Revolving blackouts, nasty brownouts and power fluctuations which shorten the lives of (even destroy) our major appliances are all blamed upon or excused by faulty equipment and the inability of WAPA to find the necessary funds to replace and update a system which is obsolete by current standards.
We accept it as almost inevitable that WAPA continually asks for and receives permission to hike our electric rates to cover its losses and we accept is as absolutely inevitable that if we fall behind in making our monthly WAPA payments, our power will be promptly shut off until we make good.
And yet the V.I. Government owes literally hundreds of thousands of dollars to WAPA, has done so for years, and blithely continues to operate without fear of having any curtailment of power to any of its agencies (they are, after all, "essential") and the Legislature continues to fritter away hundreds of thousands of dollars on appropriations for unnecessary pet projects which are, at best, frivolous and self-serving. Isn't there something terribly wrong with this picture?
If the government paid its huge outstanding debt to WAPA and kept up its payments in timely fashion under the same rules that apply to the private sector, we all might benefit from a properly functioning power system and the private sector wouldn't have to keep bailing out a "care-less" and fiscally irresponsible body. What a wild concept!
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 email@example.com.