As we begin a new year, and a new administration takes the reins of government, I feel it important that I publicly express thanks to outgoing Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls.
In June of 2011, a small group of us, with loved ones interred at Smith Bay Eastern Cemetery, met with Commissioner Smalls to discuss a number of concerns we had regarding conditions at the cemetery. During our meeting, Commissioner Smalls listened to our concerns, shared his plans for the cemetery, and invited us to make recommendations.
Since that time, the number of people buried at that cemetery has probably tripled. However, the implementation of some of the plans is evident. One of the first things that I noticed, was that there were drawings and guidelines posted, so that those building the graves would know what was required and acceptable, to provide some uniformity at the cemetery. Additionally, some roadways have been paved, new roads have been cut, the parking area has been marked with designated spaces for the disabled, and the cemetery is generally developing in an organized manner. Also the crypts located at the front of the cemetery have been enhanced by decorative facades and face plates, they have been labeled alphabetically, and two new ones have been added.
When we first met with Commissioner Smalls, he noted his dissatisfaction with the conditions of the cemetery when he took the helm. However, true to his word, he made the cemetery one of his priorities and continued, with the help of his staff, to upgrade it. I trust that some of the other plans, that have not yet been realized, will come to fruition so that Smith Bay Eastern Cemetery can become the memorial park it has the potential to become.
In any community, the way the dearly departed are treated is a reflection of the entire community. I thank Commissioner Smalls for helping to ensure that the reflection provided by the Smith Bay Eastern Cemetery says that we are a community which cares. On behalf of my family and the others of our group, I thank Commissioner Smalls for his service and wish him well in the future. Sincerely,
Ruby Simmonds Esannason, St. Thomas
Thanking Commissioner Darryl Smalls
I read this letter in early January, when the first name was incorrectly listed. It appears that my comment was removed, but my response then and now remains the same, which was “It is too bad that the people of St. Croix cannot echo Ms. Simmonds-Essannason sentiments.” Darryl Smalls tenure as the Commissioner of Public Works entailed execution of many capital projects in St. Thomas. As it pertains to St. Croix, he had numerous press releases regarding “emergency road repairs” the term he used for filling pot holes, which by the way lasted one month and got biggger. In his last days he attempted to appear relevant when it came to St. Croix, a little too late. I know the Source blatantly supported the last administration; hence, you can continue to delete my comments, so for journalism, Shaun Pennington.