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The Ramifications of Corruption

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Dear Source:

This case of fraud related to our former DPNR Commissioner speaks so loudly about the reason there is a lack of faith and integrity in our Virgin Islands Government–especially in our past Administrations. How is it possible for these kinds of schemes to happen?
There is too much "behind the scene" bargaining going on. It must stop! This has deeply corroded the Publics trust in our government–a serious issue for people–resulting in both apathy and hopelessness in both voting and general participation.
More than that, when "deals" are made…this ripples and greatly impacts other issues like serious environmental problems and in turn creates unnecessary disharmony amongst people in our Communities. Case in point: The Calabash Boom Housing project. We have witnessed for many years now how St. John's "out of control" growth with little regard for environmental impact sends brown watershed from our hills because of the many construction sites improperly excavated–killing coral reefs and the bays that we so love. Do we forget that once we lose our pristine waters that we lose our most important resource? Some good longtime individuals in Coral Bay who love this Island have seen what Stateside "out of control" poorly planned development has done with dire consequences. They have been brave enough to say "Enough disregard for our environment!" In turn, it was misinterpreted wrongly as a "fight against housing". This is really a shame.
If those in positions of power and leadership like former Commissioner of DPNR Planning and Natural Dean Plaskett were focused on the right issues and on taking every issue and finding a way to solve problems from a "win/win" stance for all involved–both the environment and the need for housing–it would not have gotten to this point. Once again–poor leadership and poor planning, in whatever area that we can name, affects all of us in a myriad of ways–both physically and emotionally.
The answer? We must have open transparency and accountability in all of our Government dealings at all times. We need to know where all of our monies are; and how it is spent. This information should be accessed online or through government offices by all citizens. Governor de Jongh has made a pledge for open and transparent Government. The restoration of faith and trust in our attitudes towards government–and Democracy–rests on this happening. So does the future of our Islands.
Bonny Corbeil
St. John

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