Virgin Islands Party (VIP) candidate for the Fourth Electoral District Luce Hodge-Smith has slammed the constituency’s current representative, Mark Vanterpool, on what she said was an ‘unacceptable’ performance as district rep in the last eight years.
She made the statement after claiming that Vanterpool tried to undermine her candidacy on the campaign trail recently.
“The incumbent has tried to ridicule me by calling me a little girl. In his attempts of doing that, he has exposed his smugness and his meanness. In doing so, he has also exposed his contempt for you here in District Four. We don’t reward meanness and contempt,” she said during her official campaign launch in Road Town on Saturday.
“We will let him know that I am a woman, a God-fearing woman, a woman that will represent you in ways that he has not, a woman that will get the job done,” the VIP candidate asserted.
D4 has been neglected
Hodge-Smith said cries from constituents have fallen on deaf ears for the last two terms that the National Democratic Party has represented the district. She is promising to represent them better if elected.
“For eight long years, bringing final repairs to the sewerage issues has been neglected. Over the last eight years, problems grew and, to date, there is still the stench of sewerage in Road Town, and the sewerage water runs through the district daily,” she said.
“This is unacceptable. The stench of corruption is unacceptable. The stench of incompetence is unacceptable, and the stench of wrong priorities is unacceptable,” she added.
Hodge-Smith said residents have also been affected by an inconsistent water supply for years. “To compound this issue, promises were made to fix it, but to date, the water woes continue. This is unacceptable,” she said.
She also pointed to the constant flooding of the capital which has remained unfixed, despite public and private properties receiving substantial losses, as a result.
“Over $2 billion has been spent, and we can’t see where it has been spent. The current representative is running scared. A few months ago he was running away from you, now he is running scared.”
She continued: “He (Vanterpool) is running scared because he can’t explain the overrun of the Pier Park project because he and his friends cannot account for the $15 million from the Social Security Board, and he cannot explain the neglect of the Elmore Stoutt High School. Residents of the Fourth District, you deserve better than you have endured for the past eight years. It is time for a woman to do the job.”
In the meantime, Hodge-Smith said if voted into office, she will create a Road Town Health Commission and re-establish a Main Street business association.
She said Road Town would see better waste management systems, proper sidewalks and walkways, solar-powered street lights and workshops for young and upcoming entrepreneurs.
If elected, she also plans to construct multi-level parking for Road Town and move the current market to an unknown location and utilise its space for a bus depot.
She said there would also be an increase in cultural events yearly.