Business owner, and Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Fourth District Candidate, Joann Roxie Romney in an interview with The Island Sun newspaper on Tuesday, 12 May, announced that she envisions a commercially driven Fourth District and has plans to re-vitalize the Capital.
The popular candidate announced that her vision for the Fourth District is to create a vibrant business center that caters to residents and visitors alike. In fact, she wants to see a Capital with a free flow of business enterprises thereby creating diverse choices of services. “I would like to see a greener Road Town, see the flow of traffic improved with the introduction of intra-city public transportation from outer parking locations, see the streets of Road Town clean, well-drained and appropriately marked,” the candidate stated.
Ms. Romney raised a number of safety issues, and mentioned other matters which require urgent attention: “I see the school children being dropped off to school safely and, school cafeterias serving healthy meals on the school grounds to keep the minors from flowing into the streets in search of lunch and sometimes in the path of predators.”
“I see a safer District with friendly neighbourhood Police patrols and greater police enforcement presence in commercial areas of the District. I see improved firefighting facilities, including, fire hydrants strategically located around Town and firefighting trucks outfitted to fight blazes beyond their current four-storey capabilities, irrespective of current legislation that permits construction of six-storey buildings. I see the residents of the Fourth District enjoying reliable and efficient public utilities like water, electricity, communication and electronic entertainment,” the vibrant VIP candidate declared as she shared her vision for the Fourth District.
Issues to be Addressed
Ms. Romney said that one of the things that she would advocate strongly for is the increase of the minimum wage. The business-owner stated that she would like to see the minimum wage enhanced to a rate that improves the quality of life for many currently suffering due to increased government fees and taxes.
Roxie Romney explained that the wage increase should be carefully examined, weighed, and balanced against other sensitive factors. She said that the wage should not be increased to the point where the cost of doing business and by extension the cost of living for resident is drastically increased.
“You see, we learned in Economics 101, that a rise in wages, in and of itself, encourages spending by consumers and by extension, demand will be increased. This should promote circulation of wealth and growth for all,” she added.
Why This Election, and Why the Fourth
Ms. Romney was asked why she decided to enter this year’s election race, and why the Fourth District. “I had been quietly working with the VIP Executive Committee to put our strategic plan in place for the upcoming General Elections.”
“In the process of these projects, there was dissatisfaction aired by many young entrepreneurs of the District; many business owners and residents expressed a willingness to consider a change of Representative if a qualified candidate were to step forward. I was then encouraged to take up the challenge by the Fourth District Rollout Committee and given the assurance that they would work hand in hand with me to victory if I mustered up the courage to take on the “Action Man” and, the rest is history….,” she explained.
Ms. Romney announced that she was not pleased with the present state of the District and announced that the Capital was not given maximum attention: “In the process of getting the cruise pier extension pushed through by whatever means necessary…basic infrastructural issues of the District did not receive sufficient attention to elevate the image of the Capital to a standard of which we can all be proud.”
She took a swipe at the Government’s comment that the scent of sewerage was eliminated from the Capital: “The scent of sewerage still permeates the air we breathe.” “The roads are rough and when the rain falls, the sidewalks are still so uneven as to create puddles where pedestrians have to traverse. Greater maintenance attention needs to be paid to the District parks and sports centers. The egress and ingress of the Road Town Ferry Dock area needs an overhaul to alleviate vehicular and passenger congestion.”
“What are we doing with the old Administration/Post Office Building on Main Street? That Building is a historic landmark for Road Town and deserving of restoration to its former glory. The High Court House / Legislature Building and its grounds, are an embarrassment. This is the place where our Leaders, past and present, are honoured in death and on the walls of the House of Assembly, where our laws are enacted. It is time to improve that facility for the users of the property. I am a proud BV Islander and I want to be proud of our Capital,” the aspiring Fourth District Representative asked.
She added that the new Peebles Hospital and Crafts Alive village are impressive; nonetheless she openly pondered about other places in Road Town such as Lower Estate, the Softball Field, and the Festival Grounds which need work in order to bring uniformity and harmony to the Capital.
A World-class Capital
Ms. Romney announced that Road Town is the Capital of the Virgin Islands, and she stated that a modern Capital requires improved transportation services: “Our transportation in, out and around Road Town needs to be improved. Sea access via the Road Town Ferry Dock should provide for its users and workers, a comfortable, secure experience. Air access via the helipad should be activated for use by more than just the periodic medi-vac flights. We are an epicenter of commerce and as such, business people should have the option of flying into Road Town for a quick meeting and return to their Point of Origin with a short 20 minute ride,” she explained.
VIP candidate Romney mentioned that some important District matters escaped the incumbent’s attention, and she announced that the issues deserve swift attention: “Some of the fundamental failures my opponent has not addressed effectively are the number of electrical blackouts; the unavailability of water supply and a sewerage disposal system that actually works, all the time, throughout the District. Repaving and reshaping of roads is insufficient to transform our economy when compared to the advancement needed in our e-commerce and telecommunication sectors which have the potential of bringing the Virgin Islands into the 21st century. For as I speak, the Territory’s communication services remain backward, controlled and driven by political self-interest, Ms. Romney noted.”