The Department of Planning and Natural Resources is back where it started. Looking for a Planner for St. John. Over the weekend, a spokesman for the Governor’s office said a candidate had accepted the job but this week the DPNR said it’s no go. The St. John Source quoted Jamal Nielsen saying that Louis Fineberg of Plumstead, Pa. was worried about the health of his mother. The Director of Planning for the town of about 11,000 notified the VI government of his decision in a lttter written nine days ago. The Source reported that Fineberg visited St. John the weekend before July 4th, certainly a time when he could have seen the island in a festive mode.
(Source story: St. John Planner Turns Down Job)
One has to ask whether Fineberg was left to explore St. John on his own or was there an effort by the government to introduce him to the island. The Source story quotes several people active in the community about Fineberg’s withdrawal, but does not indicate they knew about his selection. It would be smart to have the Planner candidate meet the community; hear its concerns about parking, the Creek waterfront, and real estate development plans.
Of course, whether that would scare away the next candidate, who knows?
Governor John deJongh campaigned 20 months ago on a platform that included hiring a Planner quickly. There have been two rounds of job postings. The first brought no responses. The second produced a round of six finalists.