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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, April 16, 2024


Dear Source,
The first time my wife and kids visited the U.S. Virgin Islands in the 1970s, they were amazed by the fact that native Virgin Islanders were in charge. As someone who was born there and own property and pay taxes there, I would like to keep it that way.
I cannot think of any other place under the U.S. flag where there are so many calls for independent boards, authorities, etc. Installing a Chief Financial Officer is indeed a plunge back towards colonialism, where the omnipotent master controlled everything and appointed overseers to rule the "ignorant masses."
What I perceive here are those "old old but still real real" attitudes. Where else is there a CFO? Maybe Washington, D.C.: I wonder who predominates there.
I hear the criticism of the senators and the administrators: They squabble, fight, disagree, make mistakes. Have these critics ever heard of democracy, or is democracy only reserved for some? Were these critics alive when Hugo and Marilyn came and 9/11 occurred? Are these critics ready to lay off hundreds of workers? Is that what Delegate to Congress Donna M. Christensen wants a CFO to do? These are the elected officials of the people and it is up to the people to remove them. They are wrestling with problems like other elected officials across the nation. When they don't get it right, back to the drawing board they must go. However, let Melvin Herbert Evans remain the last appointed governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Remember the 'peace dividend,' the billions and billions of dollars of the recent federal surplus, the California budget deficit — CFO, anyone?
The good delegate — and she has been a good delegate — should be busy trying to secure more voting rights for the territory in the House of Representatives, vying for statehood, not trying to disenfranchise the people.
Whether you disagree with the concept of CFO or not, wouldn't a referendum offered for the people to vote up or down be the best approach before amending what serves as the Constitution of the U.S. Virgin Islands? If the delegate is intimidated by unfriendly colleagues in the Congress, she should resign and turn the job over to someone willing to fight for more representation — not less.
Vernald Turnbull
Hamilton, N.J.

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