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Angry Residents Confront Wesselhoft for Sirenusa Vote

April. 20, 2007 — After Sen. Carmen Wesselhoft insisted numerous times that she voted her conscience Tuesday when she joined a dozen of her fellow senators in approving a variance for the Sirenusa development on St. John, Catherine Fahy had heard enough.
"I think it's important that you vote the way we hire you to vote," Fahy said Friday at a meeting of the Rotary Club of St. John, held at the Westin Resort and Villas. "We pay your salary. You should vote our interest."
Such projects as Sirenusa and Grande Bay have ruined people's lives, said Fahy, a St. John resident. Wesselhoft said she was sorry Fahy was disappointed.
"I weighed all the odds," Wesselhoft said.
Decisions such as the Sirenusa one are not the way to win the community's trust, said St. John resident Bonny Corbeil.
On Tuesday, the senators agreed to give Sirenusa a variance so Enighed Condominiums LLC can add seven more units to its 40-unit project overlooking Cruz Bay. The height in two of the buildings will increase to four stories, while one building will now have three stories.
The Sirenusa project has riveted St. John for months, with residents speaking out vehemently against the request at Planning and Natural Resources and Legislative hearings on the matter.
St. John resident John Fuller noted that the measure was special-ordered to the agenda in the closing minutes of the day's session, saying the move appeared sneaky. Wesselhoft put that blame on Sen. Celestino White, saying he initiated the special order.
"I don’t have control of what's introduced," she said.
Sirenusa has become a poster child for St. John's rampant development, Wesselhoft said, reading from prepared remarks. The infrastructure is taxed beyond belief, but the problem won't be solved by saying no to a few extra units at Sirenusa, she said.
Wesselhoft called for a moratorium on projects valued at more than $750,000. Once a planner for St. John is hired as promised by Gov. John deJongh Jr. in his State of the Territory address, she said, the moratorium would continue for 120 days.
The moratorium would allow St. John to get a handle on runaway development. "We need a break," she said.
Wesselhoft had been scheduled to speak at this meeting of Rotary for some time, according to Fuller. "The timing is totally fortuitous," he said, referring to the flap over the Legislature's vote on the Sirenusa variance.
Before the meeting started, Fuller said the senators sold out the people of St. John, but now he's waiting to see whether deJongh vetoes the bill.
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April. 20, 2007 -- After Sen. Carmen Wesselhoft insisted numerous times that she voted her conscience Tuesday when she joined a dozen of her fellow senators in approving a variance for the Sirenusa development on St. John, Catherine Fahy had heard enough.
"I think it's important that you vote the way we hire you to vote," Fahy said Friday at a meeting of the Rotary Club of St. John, held at the Westin Resort and Villas. "We pay your salary. You should vote our interest."
Such projects as Sirenusa and Grande Bay have ruined people's lives, said Fahy, a St. John resident. Wesselhoft said she was sorry Fahy was disappointed.
"I weighed all the odds," Wesselhoft said.
Decisions such as the Sirenusa one are not the way to win the community's trust, said St. John resident Bonny Corbeil.
On Tuesday, the senators agreed to give Sirenusa a variance so Enighed Condominiums LLC can add seven more units to its 40-unit project overlooking Cruz Bay. The height in two of the buildings will increase to four stories, while one building will now have three stories.
The Sirenusa project has riveted St. John for months, with residents speaking out vehemently against the request at Planning and Natural Resources and Legislative hearings on the matter.
St. John resident John Fuller noted that the measure was special-ordered to the agenda in the closing minutes of the day's session, saying the move appeared sneaky. Wesselhoft put that blame on Sen. Celestino White, saying he initiated the special order.
"I don’t have control of what's introduced," she said.
Sirenusa has become a poster child for St. John's rampant development, Wesselhoft said, reading from prepared remarks. The infrastructure is taxed beyond belief, but the problem won't be solved by saying no to a few extra units at Sirenusa, she said.
Wesselhoft called for a moratorium on projects valued at more than $750,000. Once a planner for St. John is hired as promised by Gov. John deJongh Jr. in his State of the Territory address, she said, the moratorium would continue for 120 days.
The moratorium would allow St. John to get a handle on runaway development. "We need a break," she said.
Wesselhoft had been scheduled to speak at this meeting of Rotary for some time, according to Fuller. "The timing is totally fortuitous," he said, referring to the flap over the Legislature's vote on the Sirenusa variance.
Before the meeting started, Fuller said the senators sold out the people of St. John, but now he's waiting to see whether deJongh vetoes the bill.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.