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Sunday, July 21, 2024
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Don't Scapegoat Me

Dear Source:

As a responsible professional, I take exception to DLCA's Commissioner Kenrick Robertson's attempts to reference me, Wanda Mills-Bocachica, as the scapegoat for the mishap that is Vendor's Plaza.
Currently, three sets of plans with permanent structures have been developed for Vendor's Plaza. Prior my departure from DPNR, and with the assistance of Mrs. Diane Magras, we assisted the Commissioner by identifying most of those documents and submitted them to the Commissioner. We also discussed the historical issues and challenges surrounding Vendors' Plaza.
Plans had already been publicized on the selection of umbrellas for Vendor's Plaza. With the availability of Community Development Block Grant funding, it was my hope that more stable infrastructure would be developed for Vendor's Plaza.
The Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs was assigned, based on its historical involvement with Vendors Plaza, to oversee the administration of the CDBG funds and the Vendor's Plaza project. This relationship dates to a previous committment to construct a firm facility for the vendors at Vendor's Plaza, as made by past DLCA Commissioner Cain Magras in the mid-1990's.
As was publicly reported in my letter of resignation from DPNR, I requested approximately six weeks to bring resolution to several projects that were outstanding. Instead, I was dismissed the same working day that my letter of resignation was received by DPNR's executive office.
Because of my committment to the Vendor's Plaza project, I submitted my contact information to Commissioner Robertson via email and by phone. I also expressed my desire to contribute to bringing closure on the initiative to Community Block Grants program representatives. At that time, I was more concerned with assisting to bring the project to completion than with compensation. This quality is rare in our government and community. I was never contacted.
Therefore, I publicly request that Commissioner Robertson excuse me from becoming his scapegoat; and instead blame elitist policy makers for refusing to recognize the historic, cultural and social integrity and vitality of marketplaces and the practice of street vending as permanent fixtures in our cosmopolitan cultural heritage and community.
For the record, check Manhattan; check Philadelphia; check Cotonou; check Cayenne; check Willemstad; check Roadtown; check Boston… When will our leaders remove the blinders from their eyes and quit making excuses for what is clearly evident?

Wanda Mills-Bocachica
St. Thomas

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