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Residents Barrage Barshinger on Property Taxes, Parking

Feb. 27, 2009 — St. John residents gave Sen. Craig Barshinger an earful Friday at a town meeting, complaining about stratospheric property valuations, the lack of parking in Cruz Bay, Centerline Road issues and much more.
Yvonne Wells got a big round of applause when she suggested that indigenous St. John residents would be forced to leave their native island when they have to pay the high property taxes that resulted from the property revaluations done several years ago.
"This is one of my main issues," Barshinger said.
Some property taxes went up 16 times what they were under the old valuations, he said. A system that would keep taxes the same until a property is sold would work, Barshinger said. It doesn't give natives any specific advantage, but would help all those who held on to their land and homes, he said.
As at most town meetings, Cruz Bay's abysmal parking situation got its fair share of attention. Bonny Corbeil pointed out that Cruz Bay has suffered from a lack of parking for at least 15 years.
Brenda Dalmida wanted to know how much of the territory's $244 million in the federal economic stimulus package recently passed by Congress would go to St. John.
"Who will sit at the table and decide how the money is spent on St. John?" she asked.
Gerry Hills came to the meeting complete with a story board that showed the deplorable state of the parking lot across from the post office and the Creek. By comparison, he showed a photo of a parking lot in downtown Honolulu, Hawaii, that was lushly landscaped.
Albert Willis suggested that more speed bumps on Centerline Road, the island's main artery, would help slow down speeding trucks that take up more than their fair share of the road. Rob Crane said he thought speed-limit signs and enforcement by the police would solve the problem.
Hills also pointed out how dangerous Centerline Road is because its center stripe has worn away.
"It's a disaster waiting to happen," he said.
Willis also asked that Cruz Bay's crack cocaine problem be cleaned up.
While B.J. Harris called for municipal government, Paul Devine requested that St. John become its own district instead of being part of the St. Thomas/St. John District.
"St. John is not getting its fair share," he said.
Ital Anthony called for signs at the airport educating tourists on proper manners so they'd know to say "good morning" and "good afternoon."
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Feb. 27, 2009 -- St. John residents gave Sen. Craig Barshinger an earful Friday at a town meeting, complaining about stratospheric property valuations, the lack of parking in Cruz Bay, Centerline Road issues and much more.
Yvonne Wells got a big round of applause when she suggested that indigenous St. John residents would be forced to leave their native island when they have to pay the high property taxes that resulted from the property revaluations done several years ago.
"This is one of my main issues," Barshinger said.
Some property taxes went up 16 times what they were under the old valuations, he said. A system that would keep taxes the same until a property is sold would work, Barshinger said. It doesn't give natives any specific advantage, but would help all those who held on to their land and homes, he said.
As at most town meetings, Cruz Bay's abysmal parking situation got its fair share of attention. Bonny Corbeil pointed out that Cruz Bay has suffered from a lack of parking for at least 15 years.
Brenda Dalmida wanted to know how much of the territory's $244 million in the federal economic stimulus package recently passed by Congress would go to St. John.
"Who will sit at the table and decide how the money is spent on St. John?" she asked.
Gerry Hills came to the meeting complete with a story board that showed the deplorable state of the parking lot across from the post office and the Creek. By comparison, he showed a photo of a parking lot in downtown Honolulu, Hawaii, that was lushly landscaped.
Albert Willis suggested that more speed bumps on Centerline Road, the island's main artery, would help slow down speeding trucks that take up more than their fair share of the road. Rob Crane said he thought speed-limit signs and enforcement by the police would solve the problem.
Hills also pointed out how dangerous Centerline Road is because its center stripe has worn away.
"It's a disaster waiting to happen," he said.
Willis also asked that Cruz Bay's crack cocaine problem be cleaned up.
While B.J. Harris called for municipal government, Paul Devine requested that St. John become its own district instead of being part of the St. Thomas/St. John District.
"St. John is not getting its fair share," he said.
Ital Anthony called for signs at the airport educating tourists on proper manners so they'd know to say "good morning" and "good afternoon."
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.