I would like to reiterate my proposal to the government that we do the prudent and practical action to protect the interest and resources of the people of the Virgin Islands. All official carnivals and festivals done in the name of the people of the Virgin Islands should be overseen by the government of the Virgin Islands, because it belongs to the people of the Virgin Islands.
It is in the interest of all concerned that we take advantage of the accumulative experiences and knowledge from other jurisdictions and apply it to our own situation. Carnival can be a productive business, such as all other festivals and the taxpayers should not have to be paying to underwrite the carnival or the festivals every year and they are controlled by the same group of persons every year. I have proposed that the carnival and all other festivals done in the name of the people of the Virgin Islands be put out to bid and the winning entity would sign a contract with the government through the Department of Tourism to manage the carnivals and the festivals. It should be a legal entity, a for-profit corporation registered in the U.S.V.I. The government would establish the parameters, cultural and other features that would be required in keeping with positive traditional activities.
The advantages of this option is self evident, but I would outline my perception of the advantages of the opening up to competitive bidding to the entity who offers the best business plan to manage the carnivals and festivals. In opening up the administration of the carnival and festivals to business ventures it would relieve the government of having to underwrite carnival and other festivals in the USVI. The government would be responsible for providing the necessary infra structure and security. This would be standard support for all enterprises in the territory. Another advantage would be the infusion of new and creative ideas and events into the territory. We are in a capitalist society and the USA is in the forefront of promoting entrepreneurial spirit, and we should promote more for profit enterprises in our community and relieve the government of the financial burden of underwriting the carnival and festivals.
The method I am proposing would provide for a continuation of traditional cultural representations and the evolution of same. We cannot and should be buried in the past but be open to new ideas that our youth look forward to be involve in, requisite for progress in any human activity. I would hope the politicians, our representatives in the legislature, would be courageous to do the right thing for the welfare of all the people of the Virgin Islands. We should not be afraid of change, of positive changes. Let other persons who are willing to participate in carnival or other festivals an opportunity to be involve as volunteers and/ or investors. Therefore we should be promoting more profit-oriented activities in carnival and the other festivals as a basic premise.
St. Thomas, V.I.
Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to email@example.com.