Aspiring Ninth District Representative Jose de Castro who is planning to contest the 2019 elections under the Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) banner zoomed on issues affecting the Ninth District and current representatives.
During the launch of the PVIM on 7 December de Castro announced that he was running because he was not satisfied with the level of representation his District was receiving and he lashed out at both the incumbent Ninth District Representative, Dr. the Hon. Hubert O’Neal and the Sister Islands Coordinator, Vincent Wheatley who is also contesting the elections under the VIP banner.
De Castro said: “We have had a district representative for the last four years and a sister island coordinator (the closest government position to that of a District Representative) for the past 11 years and both of them are currently offering themselves as candidates for the Ninth district. Although they have had quite some time to show the voters that they deserve the job, many of my friends and relatives in the District were asking me to run stating that they had no confidence in the type of representation they would receive from those two good gentlemen.”
The candidate said that the hurricanes did not cause all of the issues currently facing his District and as such he further heaped blame on the Sister Island coordinator: “If you live in the Ninth District, you would know that most of the issues we have were there way before Irma and, very importantly, under the watch of the District Representative and the Coordinator. Because these issues were not properly addressed, Hurricane Irma just made things that much worse. And we need to fix these issues in the 9th district.”
Some of the issues mentioned by the PVIM candidate are high unemployment, lack of restroom facilities at Gun Creek, the need for a Trade School, lack of road extension and street lights to Cow Wreck and on to ABC, airport closures, bank issues, need for renovation at the Jeffrey Caines Arena, road drainage issues, homes situation and current half day at BFEC.
In further criticizing the track record of his two opponents de Castro said: “What programmes have the District Representative or the Sister Islands Coordinator put in place to help keep the children off the street while their parents are at work? There are social ills that have to be curbed because of this.”
“Having a District Representative from Virgin Gorda and a Sister Islands Coordinator from Virgin Gorda you would expect that they would have worked together to solve some of these problems. But, I haven’t seen it! I looked through the many pictures on Facebook, many, many pictures! And I have yet to see the two of them working together. By contrast, I have worked with the Sister Islands Coordinator, I have worked with the District Representative and that’s the type of leadership that you need in the 9th district and I am happy to offer myself as a candidate,” he added.