About 40 residents who came out to the Coral Bay Community Council meeting on Monday evening, April 16, at the John’s Folly Learning Institute were disappointed when the guest speaker was a no-show.
This was the group’s third attempt to get Senator at Large Carmen Wesselhoft to speak at a monthly forum, but she was apparently in Legislative session and could not attend again.
Instead Wesselhoft’s chief of staff, Kim Lyons, briefly reviewed a few of the senator’s initiatives, touching on her work on behalf of the residents of the Cruz Bay Apartments and support of enacting a Megan’s Law for the territory.
Not deterred by Wesselhoft’s absence, residents shared a litany of concerns with Lyons, who pledged to pass them on to the Senator at Large.
Growing Towing Industry
With five new tow trucks on island, the V.I. Police Department’s priority seems to be towing and booting vehicles, explained resident Steve Crumerine.
“It has become an industry to ticket, tow and boot here,” said Crumerine. “We need to get the tow trucks to move the abandoned vehicles so there is someplace to park.”
Renovations to the public restroom in Cruz Bay are dragging on, according to St. John Coastal Zone Management Committee member Edmund Roberts.
“Since last October they have been working on the public restrooms,” said Roberts. “This is too long. And now they’ve locked the men’s room and men must use the women’s room.”
Streetlights Are Needed
St. John has gone too long without streetlights, explained John’s Folly resident Joan Thomas.
“It’s very, very dark on the roads,” said Thomas. “Why can’t we get streetlights in residential areas and on Centerline bet-ween Cruz Bay and Coral Bay? We had to wait a year and a half to get two lights replaced.”
In light of existing water shortages on St. John, developers should foot the bill for the Water And Power Authority to complete a new pipeline to eventually hook up to Love City, according to Coral Bay resident Norm Gledhill.
“I know people who have been waiting one to two weeks for water right now,” said Gledhill. “After these new developments are done, we’ll require 25,000 to 30,000 gallons a day more than is available now. WAPA can’t supply that.”
Developers Should Pay for Upgrades
“The solution is to finish the pipeline on St. Thomas from Sugar Bay to Red Hook at a cost of $2.6 million,” Gledhill continued. “I think before these developments get their occupancy permits, they should come up with the money to finish that pipeline.”
Despite the development boom in Coral Bay, there remains only one access road, explained Alvis Christian, St. John Deputy Director for the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency.
“Maintaining one road between Coral Bay and Cruz Bay is very troublesome,” said Christian. “Within the last 10 years, 40 percent of development has been from Bordeaux out. We have more people and more development, but only one road.”
“This must be a priority,” Christian added.
The crowd also got the opportunity to learn about the upcoming Constitutional Convention from Education Coordinator for the University of the Virgin Islands, Treganza Roach.
Fifth Constitutional Convention
Virgin Islanders are trying for the fifth time to pass a territorial Constitution, which will establish a framework for a more self-determined government.
While the document must outline a Republican form of government and acknowledge the authority of the United States’ Constitution, the convention delegates will be able to tackle a number of issues.
From setting up municipal governments to establishing a territory-wide basis for fiscal and economic policy, the Fifth Constitutional Convention is a very exciting opportunity, explained Roach.
“We’ll get the chance to talk about things we’ve said are really important to us,” Roach said. “With so many questions capable of coming up, it’s really important who we choose as delegates. It behooves us all to get involved in this process.”
Thirty Delegates To Attend
A total of 30 delegates will be elected to attend the convention. Thirteen of the delegates will come from the St. Thomas/St. John district, and two of those positions must be filled by St. John residents. Thirteen more delegates will hail from the St. Croix district and four at-large delegates will round out the convention.
Constitutional Convention delegate nomination petitions can be obtained at the Board of Elections office and must be submitted before May 16. The public will vote for delegates on June 12 and the Fifth Constitutional Convention is set to kick off on July 23.
For more information regarding the upcoming convention, check out the Web site www.itsourfuture.vi, or call Roach at 693-1240.