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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, July 4, 2022
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Delegates, Finish Your Homework

Dear Source:
Gerard Luz James II, Constitutional Convention president recently admitted that the convention "did take a hiatus," which translates into basically stopping dead in its tracks, for the month of October to allow members of the convention to campaign for Senate seats. The question is why? Why, would any elected body tasked to complete a document that is so dreadfully important to the Virgin Islands just decide to take a break for this reason. Can't people walk and chew gum at the same time? There appears to be a severe conflict of interest going on, as the public has an interest in a timely completion for this document and the convention is marching to its own beat. And, that beat continues to cost us funds.
The public is at a loss for words.
This "hiatus" came on the heels of the conventions request for more time to complete a document that continues to drag on and on and on. Having been given another six months to complete this already overdue assignment, we again find ourselves being asked for additional funding. Another 1.3 million dollars to be exact. That, in addition to the just under $500,000 that has already been spent. Everyone knows the original budget for this document was $100,000. Everyone knew that was a joke. And its money we just don't have. The entire community island is part of the economic crisis, and can't afford any more waste.
Enough is enough. Finish the blasted document once and for all. We have been on the receiving end of a lot of woeful information. The convention has confessed to not having a quorum on so many occasions, that it has hampered itself in passing many of the doctrines that think are necessary. Delegates, you were selected to create a document within a timely manner. Delays continue to cost the community money it doesn't have. Perhaps, in hindsight it would have been better to outsource this document to people that have the basic knowledge to complete such a document. Those people who have constitutional law knowledge, legal knowledge and also who would get paid for results. Instead, we are paying "per diem" for the delegates to get together when they can't do the work. We are paying for travel, food and lodgings and getting little in return. We are paying again and again for a document that we are being told "can't be completed without more funding."
Here is a suggestion. Have the delegates meet for one week straight, on a volunteer basis. Delegates, are you ready to volunteer some of your time at this point? After all, the community has paid for your services up until now.
So, here is the plan, all 30 delegates sit in one room, for one week straight until you have completed your assignment. Come out of that room, once and for all and present us with your completed constitution. Finish your homework.

Maria Ferreras
St. Thomas

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 visource@gmail.com.

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Dear Source:
Gerard Luz James II, Constitutional Convention president recently admitted that the convention "did take a hiatus," which translates into basically stopping dead in its tracks, for the month of October to allow members of the convention to campaign for Senate seats. The question is why? Why, would any elected body tasked to complete a document that is so dreadfully important to the Virgin Islands just decide to take a break for this reason. Can't people walk and chew gum at the same time? There appears to be a severe conflict of interest going on, as the public has an interest in a timely completion for this document and the convention is marching to its own beat. And, that beat continues to cost us funds.
The public is at a loss for words.
This "hiatus" came on the heels of the conventions request for more time to complete a document that continues to drag on and on and on. Having been given another six months to complete this already overdue assignment, we again find ourselves being asked for additional funding. Another 1.3 million dollars to be exact. That, in addition to the just under $500,000 that has already been spent. Everyone knows the original budget for this document was $100,000. Everyone knew that was a joke. And its money we just don't have. The entire community island is part of the economic crisis, and can't afford any more waste.
Enough is enough. Finish the blasted document once and for all. We have been on the receiving end of a lot of woeful information. The convention has confessed to not having a quorum on so many occasions, that it has hampered itself in passing many of the doctrines that think are necessary. Delegates, you were selected to create a document within a timely manner. Delays continue to cost the community money it doesn't have. Perhaps, in hindsight it would have been better to outsource this document to people that have the basic knowledge to complete such a document. Those people who have constitutional law knowledge, legal knowledge and also who would get paid for results. Instead, we are paying "per diem" for the delegates to get together when they can't do the work. We are paying for travel, food and lodgings and getting little in return. We are paying again and again for a document that we are being told "can't be completed without more funding."
Here is a suggestion. Have the delegates meet for one week straight, on a volunteer basis. Delegates, are you ready to volunteer some of your time at this point? After all, the community has paid for your services up until now.
So, here is the plan, all 30 delegates sit in one room, for one week straight until you have completed your assignment. Come out of that room, once and for all and present us with your completed constitution. Finish your homework.

Maria Ferreras
St. Thomas

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 visource@gmail.com.