St. John Marina Principal Calls E-mail Leaks from Coral Bay Gadfly Diversion from Issue


St. John Marina principal Rick Barksdale responded to a flurry of e-mails circulating St. John forwarding documents associated with the developers efforts to involve St. John investors in the project with the same aplomb he has exhibited in attending year’s of meetings of organizations and with people who are now vehemently opposed to the marina development he is now formally promoting.

“First, the e-mail to which Sharon refers is not a ‘prospectus,’” Summer’s End principal Rick Barksdale e-mailed St. John Tradewinds Friday, on August 8. “The e-mail in question was sent to a variety of St. John natives and stakeholders with whom we’ve had a personal relationship.”

“A project like ours has a variety of funding rounds that correlate to specific work needed to be done depending on where you are in a project,” Barksdale explained. “Those that took advantage of the limited time offer are quite pleased they did. Any other details regarding the offer are privileged information of a private matter between the parties involved.”

“Sharon’s e-mail is simply another attempt by her to mislead and misrepresent something in which she has no experience or expertise,” Barksdale continued.
“The proposed St. John Marina is environmentally considerate, promotes cultural preservation and is economically viable and she knows it,” said Barksdale. “Her e-mail seeks to avert attention away from the real issues.”

“They are: the support of young St. John graduates through employment opportunities, protection of the marine environment from illegal boating activity, and generational St. John families’ ability to maintain a cultural legacy in a place they called home long before Sharon or anyone like her ever appeared,” Barksdale wrote.

“The St. John Marina is being developed by people who live right here on St. John, not stateside developers as you have previously described Chaliese and me,” Barksdale wrote in a second e-mail. “Robert O’Connor, Jr., also a principal in the Summer’s End Group is a generational St. Johnian. The fire station in Cruz Bay bears Mr. O’Connor’s father’s name.”

“Investors in the St. John marina include generational St. Johnians, non-native St. Johnians, part time St. Johnians and others who have a vested interest in St. John or other principals,” Barksdale continued. “They all believe in the vision of sustainability for the environment, generational culture and economy of St. John.”

 “Ownership of the properties involved is varied. As previously disclosed the project involves lease property from the Marshes, and other purchase property,” the marina developer wrote. “The lease property is the location of the former Coral Bay Marina project that previously received CZM approval of which Mr. O’Connor and Brion Morrisette were principals.”