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Licensing and Consumer Affairs Commissioner designee Richard Evangelista, standing with the microphone on the left, addresses vendors who work out of Vendors’ Plaza and other attendees during a meeting held in Emancipation Garden, St. Thomas, on Tuesday. He said he aims to be “fair but firm” with vendors regarding rules and regulations.

ST. THOMAS — Government officials hosted a town hall meeting Tuesday about the “abysmal” conditions of Vendors’ Plaza in downtown Charlotte Amalie, telling vendors that the government will be now be “fair but firm” with regard to the rules.

Licensing and Consumer Affairs Commissioner designee Richard Evangelista told the approximately 60 attendees that vendors have until Aug. 19 to get in compliance on the department’s various rules and regulations. The purpose of Tuesday’s meeting was to “educate before we regulate,” Evangelista said.