Wesselhoft Accuses Tradewinds of “Blatant Lies”

Dear Editor,

The anonymous letter writers and pseudo citizens have once again used their friends at your publication to spread misinformation throughout this community. The October 15 edition of the Tradewinds includes an open letter to me stating that I left the property tax reevaluation meeting early and did not hear the concerns of my constituents. This is a lie.

First, it must be said that this meeting was held at my direct request. I was, in fact, the original sponsor of this property tax meeting, but turned it over to the Lt. Governor’s Office when they expressed concerns about the date I had set and a desire to host a series of meetings throughout the territory, to include St. John.

After the introductions were made I did leave briefly at the request of the Lt. Governor, who did not have adequate copies of the information his office had brought to distribute. I left to make these copies for the residents and returned at the beginning of the question and answer period. I also took a moment away from the meeting to ask the Westin staff for additional chairs for the many residents left standing. I was there until the very end of the meeting and I am certain that dozens of St. Johnians as well as the media can attest to this. Lt. Governor Gregory Francis can also verify this fact.

The editors of the Tradewinds have once again acted hastily and sloppily in their eager efforts to discredit me. I understand clearly that I was not their choice for Senator-at-Large, but still believe that they owe it to this community to print information that is factual and fair.

Most credible publications do not print anonymous letters in this day and age. As no author is named, full responsibility for the letter’s contents rests on the Tradewinds and an apology is certainly in order. The Tradewinds can be held liable for these kinds of unfounded statements.

I have largely ignored this publication’s misrepresentations and jabs, but these blatant lies must stop. When not publishing anonymous letters attacking my character, the Tradewinds has gone so far as to publish letters under pseudonyms. I was able to verify that one such regular letter writer is entirely non-existent outside the imagination of the Tradewinds “editorial board.” I challenge the Tradewinds editors to prove otherwise.

My concern over the property tax issue is well known and I have made it clear that under no uncertain terms will I support the current assessment process. As a St. John property owner I am subject to the same unreasonable evaluations as my fellow residents.

My door remains open to my constituents. Please feel free to stop by my office or call for an appointment.

Carmen Wesselhoft
Senator at Large

Editor’s Response:
St. John Tradewinds does not print anonymous letters, but will withhold the name of a verified letter writer upon request, specifically to protect them from retribution from public officials.

Since her election, Sen. Wesslehoff has failed to understand that she is an elected official subject to public scrutiny, public criticism and re-election.
In this case, a resident wrote that Wesselhoft left “by slipping out of the meeting as soon as kudos were over.” The letter writer complained a seat was held for the senator through the remainder of the meeting while senior citizens were forced to stand.

The writer also criticized Wesslehoff for not being present to hear citizen concerns about the tax issue.

The Tradewinds reporter, who was seated at the front of the room during the meeting, verified the letter writer was in the rear of the room but could not verify Sen. Wesslehoff’s comings and goings.

St. John Tradewinds, which has no “editorial board” and does not endorse any political candidate, thanks Sen. Wesslehoff for admitting her absences from the meeting and accepts her apology.