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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, September 21, 2023
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A Clarification

Dear Source:
I feel a strong need to clarify the reason why, and perhaps more importantly in what capacity, I made the comments as quoted in your story, during the STJ Community Forum to address Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault policy and services issues on the evening of September 17th. As I am sure most of your readers are well aware; members of the press, in their capacity as such, commonly ask questions in public meetings in order to obtain further information about a given topic. However; for several obvious reasons it is simply not appropriate for members of the press make comments in public meetings.
In this instance, the only members of the public who attended a critical public forum were Mr. Needham, the spouse of the meeting facilitator, who drove her to the meeting, and presenter Paul Jordan, who was representing two agencies. Lacking an avenue for public input during the meeting; Dr. Kern, very directly ask the two media representatives for input "from the reporters, not as reporters, but as individual citizens". I am quite sure the question would never have been asked of us, had there been any one else at the meeting for her to ask.
Regardless of the latter circumstances, I want to make it extremely clear here that I was indeed, commenting on my own behalf, "as an individual citizen", and absolutely not as a representative of the Tradewinds Newspaper, or any other entity for that matter. Also, mention of the newspaper was made on my part, in the context that I was specifically clarifying that the statement was made in response to Dr. Kern's request for "individual input", and not based on a member of the press.
As some one who worked as a social services administrator and service provider for over 25 years; including a former clinical certification specifically in the area of Domestic Violence, perhaps too much service delivery and advocacy zeal remains. In any event, it was a rookie reporter's mistake that will not be made again. Lesson learned indeed.
Thank you very much.
Susan Mann
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 visource@gmail.com.

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