I am as appalled and angry as most other citizens that our senators at the last "hour" would "sneakily" vote for their own pay raises when the state of these Territories basic infrastructures is in such pathetic shape. I can honestly say that I have seen very little done for our children, our schools system, over worked and under-paid teachers, senior citizens, basic road systems, waste disposal, safety issues including police training and interpersonal skills with people that they are suppose to serve–all of the things that I thought that my tax dollar was spent on. There are too many senators. They spent too much time arguing about who is "in control"; who "is right" through too much grandstanding. There is no criteria or mandatory demonstrated skills for these very important positions. Enough!
Few Senators really know the problems of St. John unless they become big issues. I am becoming quite exhausted from constantly having to go to meeting after meeting to get our Islands specific concerns heard! Isn't it THEIR job to do the people's business? And we have been doing this for too many years on St. John. To former Senator Craig Barshinger's credit, he has been the first senator who truly knew our concerns and spoke up for them. I am hoping that the future bring us districting through Donna Christiansen, so that we can have limited Senators focused on the issues instead of "one-upmanship" power struggles. Locals call politics in the Islands, "politricks". Is it any wonder that people feel so disillusioned and angry by these pay raises and how they were underhandedly done?
Voice your opinion in whatever appropriate means there is–that is what democracy is. Hurrah for our sister Island St. Croix who has started a re-call of senators! These senators have lost the trust of the people…this is a great loss to them and to us.
To those who are calling for Gov. de Jongh to "take a stand", may I say that I certainly understand your exasperation with the audacity of these senators. I, too, was enraged when I first found out! This silence is harder for us because of the many years of our last Governor's failure to communicate to the citizens that he was suppose to serve. After thinking it through, though, we must realize that our new Governor already has been very busy at work within the last 15 days doing great things for us. A great "Team" leader does not react to issues-he responds after carefully looking at all of the "pieces". He is most likely behind the scenes now trying to sort this issue out with the new legislature–trying to bring some kind of resolution for the highest good of the people so that he can address it Monday at his first "State of the Territory".
I, for one, have great hope in him and his vision, his leadership style and ability to resolve issues. He has been a citizen just like you and me–dealing with this past administration and it's general incompetence. Remember he has to work with this new legislature that we also elected. The goal is to do the work of the people together! There is so much work for him to do–and a lot to "undo" as well. We will find out soon where he stands–and it will be based on careful consideration. This is the kind of Governor that I want!
Coral Bay, St. John
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.