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Charlotte Amalie
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Writer Supports Delegate to Run for Governor

Dear Source,
Dec. 20, 2004 – As I look around the political scene I have come to the logical conclusion that it is time we make some drastic changes in whom we elect to public office. Some people have become very cynical about politics, they are turned off because they say nothing is going to change. They may be right, because nothing changes without some factors that stimulate the change or initiate the change. In our system of government, the democratic system, where the populace elect their representatives in government, the people have the control to affect changes they want. The populace may not fully understand their rights and responsibilities and fail to exercise their responsibility in controlling their government. That is the sad reality of our time. The populace allows itself to be fooled by demagogues who they keep reelecting, that is unfortunate.
Let us consider a particular issue which has very wide implications for the territory, the comprehensive land and water use code that has been in the works for more than twenty years. Neither the executive branch nor the legislature have given it any priority. But we see that any time some developer buys property here and decide to develop same for the purpose that they bought it there is a big outcry by certain segments in the community. Then the demagogues take it on for political mileage. The Senate fails to assume the leadership and the responsibility of developing the comprehensive land and water use code for use in the territory which will reduce the very disconcerting confrontation between developers and certain segments in the community. Such a code will help protect the limited land mass that is available and the environment. It would appear that we as a people do not know what we want nor what is best for our community. We say we want development, we try to attract investors, because very few locals want to invest in their own community, but when the investors present a development plan there are those who object and put obstacles in the path of the developers. And I ask is that fair? Is that wise? Is that the way to conscientiously develop our territory?
I believe if we had a comprehensive land and water use code in place everyone would know what is permitted and what is not. That would reduce the confrontations that develop at times between developers and some segments of the community. So, if the Senate is truly interested in protecting our natural resources, they would put in place post haste a comprehensive land and water use plan that has been developed over the years and is kept tabled indefinitely by the Senate. The plan may not be perfect, the legislature is not capable of developing a perfect bill. The executive branch has been doing very little to bring it to the table or at least to get the public input and support. Are these elected representatives really honest and do they really have the welfare of the territory foremost in their minds, in their hearts?
I believe it is time for a change, the individuals who we have been electing to represent us have been failing to protect and promote the welfare of our community. It happens that the majority in the Senate and the executive branch are males, maybe if we include more capable females we may get better representation. Maybe it is time we elect a female governor. I believe the one person who has grown in stature politically, who have shown courage of conviction. The one person who has national and international recognition is our delegate to congress. She has shown that the interest of the territory comes before loyalty to her party cabal, so much so that they have turned against her for her outspoken stand on the CFO. Now it is the people's turn to show her that we appreciate her courageous stand and elect her to the number one elective post, the governorship of the Virgin Islands. We need to develop a coalition of persons of goodwill who are interested in the general welfare of the territory instead of narrow party politics, to support her candidacy. The delegate would then need to associate herself with competent persons, who have integrity to be a part of her administration, without regard to party affiliation. Do you agree we need a change in whom we elect to public office? Is it popularity that counts or integrity, courage and vision? You decide what you believe is best for the community, remember people power. The ball is in the people's court, power to the people! The electorate should elect persons who reflect their values, their political priorities and who possesses integrity. Let us search and select our own candidates and not wait for them to offer themselves with their ulterior motives, with their self/serving agendas.
J.J. Estemac
St. Thomas

Editors 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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