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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, June 20, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesV.I. CAN'T, WON'T, OR DON'T CARE TO SOLVE CRISES

V.I. CAN'T, WON'T, OR DON'T CARE TO SOLVE CRISES

Dear Source,
Several months ago, I declared support for federal intervention in the territory because of local refusal or inability to stem the bleeding. Today, I reiterate that support even more vehemently and support Sen. [Lorraine] Berry for her unpopular stand and Sen. [Adlah] Donastorg for fighting the borrowing mania in the Senate.
The only solution is tough love! We must lay off, we must cut back. We have to cut spending! The size of the V.I. budget is absurd! This is true especially considering the low level of services (or lack of services) rendered. Entire departments such as Agriculture and Property and Procurement can safely be eliminated. Put P and P's duties under the Office of Management and Budget (where they should be). The University of the Virgin Islands does more for the farmers than Agriculture does. Let's get real here! We can't borrow ad nauseam on the specious argument that laying off will hurt people. The federal government pays the unemployment anyway! In addition, there have been extensions upon extensions allowing many to stay on unemployment beyond 26 weeks: more than enough time for the government to get hot on private investment and capital projects.
The people of the Virgin Islands must share the blame with the politicians for electing and re-electing people who have openly lied about the fiscal situation, even though common sense should have told anyone that there was no way that the V.I. government could be solvent when 43 of 50 states were facing deficits.
And this is not to mention what seems to be a disturbing trend of mid-life Virgin Islanders leaving. I know of at least 10 persons who have picked up their families and moved to Florida, Atlanta, or D.C. in the last three years. It's no longer a brain drain: It's a refugee stream now.
Let's have the feds come in and put some take over the finances, education, and crime situations since we have demonstrated that we can't, won't, or simply don't care.
Dwayne Henry
Virgin Islander in North Carolina

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