The new policy on parking in the lot by Percy's taking effect today — Oct. 1 — causes me to raise some questions concerning decision-making and service to the public.
First, Planning and Natural Resources Commissioner Dean Plaskett states: "Parking should never have been allowed there in the first place. It is government land and was never meant to be used for parking." He then informs us that the land was leased to a tenant who "has not complied with an agreement with Planing and Natural Resources to develop the space."
My question: If the above is the proper sequence of events, and there are no gaps, then should it not be the tenant entreating and enforcing against trespassing, instead of Planning? Is there a revocation of that lease that the public doesn't know about?
Second, does any one in authority care about the critical situation regarding St. Croix's economy and the extent to which it is impacted further by the dwindling traffic and commerce between that island and the capital, St. Thomas?
That the seaplane shuttle's service between the two islands becomes even more critical in these times for sustaining minimal contact and commerce between these islands — with ferry service virtually non-existent any more, American Eagle out of the picture, jetliners of USAir, American, Delta, etc. no longer linking the islands, and so forth?
That with all of this, the Seaborne Airlines parking facility on the waterfront side of the highway accommodates a very small number of vehicles?
That parking in the GERS Building lot is certainly not the best deal in town (besides being farther away from the town center), as it does not even offer a grace period?
Finally, is it acceptable in the public's eye that a decision such as the one in question be left to any one individual? Wouldn't we be better served by an advisory committee (even if it is under the chairmanship of the commissioner)? Isn't it more likely that those on such a committee would advise: "Let's take a deep breath; let's at least consider some of these broader issues — such as St. Croix's survival — in the mix! Shouldn't we approach the non-complying tenant with a "win-win" option?"
Gilbert A. Sprauve
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