Dear Gov. Turnbull:
I am writing you on behalf of many Virgin Islanders living in Atlanta: We are sorry to see a golden opportunity for the economic development for St. Croix pass us by.
Many of us who came to the mainland to get an education would love to return to St. Croix and continue the growth of the Virgin Islands. The Beal deal was a definite boost to the St. Croix economy, and many of us who live abroad would love to return to the island if the opportunities were there.
I did not experience the situation first hand, but the information passed on to us gave us the impression the deal did not go through because of the land swap. According to the information, the Legislature and yourself agreed to the land swap but Sen. Alicia "Chucky" Hansen took the matter to court.
The main argument was that the land Beal wanted to swap belonged to the people of St. Croix. Our position here is if the land belongs to the people, why wasn't a special vote held for the people of St. Croix to decide on the land swap? My personal position on the matter is that a park does not help the fading economy of St. Croix.
St. Croix missed out on a great opportunity to build its economy. I do not know if it is too late for the authorities on St. Croix to convince Beal to reconsider and let the people of the island voice their opinion by voting for the land swap. This opportunity would give the economy on St. Croix the jump start it really needs.
This opportunity would provide jobs. People with jobs buy food, people with jobs buy clothes, people with jobs buy/rent houses, and people with jobs spend money on entertainment.
I am sick and tired of the people who have it made make the decisions that are not in the best interest of the common man of St. Croix who wants to make a decent and honest living. Let the opposition know that if our young people do not have an opportunity to prosper on St. Croix, they will leave the island or travel the path of crime.
Many skilled, professional, and executive Virgin Islanders would love the opportunities we have abroad. It hurts my heart when many of my friends that I met in college go back to their hometowns to good opportunities, and I know that I cannot do the same thing. St. Croix will always be home for many of us, and we want to see the economy of St. Croix move in a positive direction.

Derrick Francis is an information technology director in Atlanta


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