In response to the growing concerns over the future development of St. John, I have the following thoughts:
In an effort to eliminate the need for Government funding, a Board could be formed, possibly even appointed by the governor. Having the Board appointed by the governor would give it legitimacy and leverage to have their recommendations heard by DPNR and the rest of the government. The Board would consist of a variety of members including the following:
Representatives from each of the Community Action Committees
St. John could be broken down into 4-5 “Communities” with each section having their own CAC or Community Action Committee. As an example, the Coral Bay Community Council could be the CAC for the Coral Bay area. Each one of these CACs would have a seat on the Board. The CAC would serve as the place for residents to come together to voice their opinions and elect a representative to serve on the Board.
The Board would make non-binding recommendations to DPNR/CZM and the VI Government regarding proposed Developments on St. John.
The St. John Community could come together to raise some money and hire a Professional Planning firm to develop a Comprehensive Plan for St. John. This Comprehensive Plan would then be presented to the V.I. Government and (hopefully) adopted as a guideline for future development on St. John.
Combine the above two ideas and have the Board hire and work with a Professional Planning company to develop a Comprehensive Plan. These ideas would give the people of St. John a voice in their future by becoming involved in the process.
It is unrealistic to be against all development or change. The goal should be to develop St. John in a manner that is respectful to the People, Environment and Culture of the Island.
St. John is special and different because of the Park, and without question needs to be kept a special place.