When I was a young boy growing up on St. Croix, Virgin Islands, it was a beautiful and prosperous paradise; the economy was booming, the roads were well paved and striped and with no potholes, the roadsides were always cut and kept very clean; the guardrails were visible at all times. There was no sewage running in the streets of Christiansted or Frederiksted, our high schools were accredited, our recreation departments were fully functional, crime was down, the cruise ships were coming to Frederiksted, and the mini cruise ship to Christiansted.
What is wrong with us as Crucians or Virgin Islanders, is that there is a perception, in my opinion, that we are having a very serious management problem in the Virgin islands, from the very top on down. We speak of economic development, and in order to have economic development we must have sustainable management.
How can we continue to patch the potholes in our roads, or pave over the same old roads and not do a complete road overhaul from the bottom up? It takes about six months and the potholes are back again; this is a waste of tax payers' dollars. The government will maintain the roadsides for a period of two to three months, while we the taxpayers have to suffer with oversize shrubs that close in our roads for the next eight to nine months.
There are federal dollars that this government gets annually to stripe and paint crosswalks, stop bars and arrows of direction on the highways. Roads are repaved and not striped. Intersections are not swept or cleaned. Our government said they have fixed our sewage problems on St. Croix, and yet sewage is still flowing in the streets and residential areas. Our public high schools are still not accredited. Our schools continue to rank among the lowest in the nation, on reading and math achievements tests.
Recreation department activities were something I use to look forward to. Every afternoon after school, I would go to practice baseball, basketball or play a game of pool, ping pong, checkers or domino. The recreation center was a place for discipline and community togetherness.
Twenty years ago when serious crimes began to happen in our community, it was a shock throughout St. Croix and the Virgin Islands. Now crimes have become a norm in our community: A cop disappeared, men and women go missing, murders remain unsolved for years.
Our government is not perceptive to our needs as a community. There is a big problem in management from the top down in the Virgin Islands; our government has a responsibility to provide adequate service to all citizens. The autocratic style of government must come to a stop now. We cannot take it anymore.
George H. Moore
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