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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, August 16, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesGOVERNING IN ABSENTIA IS A NO-GO

GOVERNING IN ABSENTIA IS A NO-GO

Where is our governor, and where is he going all the time?
Although we believe Gov. Charles Turnbull's heart is in the right place, it's time for some of his friends and advisers to give him a reality check on his actions and image.
He behaves like a new celebrity — going here, going there, Denmark today, a fraternity celebration tomorrow. In the last month he was out of the territory almost half the time. He came back last week for one day and then took off again.
Undoubtedly some of these trips were and are necessary, but with all that is happening in the territory and with the talk of pay cuts and layoffs, we think he ought to think twice before he flies off too frequently in the future.
We still await appointments to important boards and commissions. We still await details of the restructuring plan. We still await information about how these changes will affect our daily lives.
But the governor is not the only V.I. official flying here, there and everywhere. Certain senators seem to be off-island frequently, and the people have a right to know where they're going and why those trips are justified, given our financial crisis.
One has to wonder: Do all of these officials travel first-class at our expense? We have heard of government officials bragging that they haven't traveled coach class in two decades. We have also been told that a certain senator attending a convention in Las Vegas last year disappeared for three days into the casinos. We know that members of some boards and commissions, notably the V.I. Port Authority, seem to travel when and where they want — again, first-class, with no restrictions.
First-class tickets, first-class hotels, gambling in Las Vegas — do we have to wonder why the Virgin Islands government is bankrupt and why the public is so cynical about where public money goes?
It is time for all non-essential travel to stop. It is also time to implement Sen. Almando "Rocky" Liburd's excellent recommendation that all frequent flyer miles earned by people traveling on tickets paid by the government be turned back to the government.
The days of misusing privileges are over. We have seen where that has gotten us.
Gov. Turnbull should set the proper tone and example by clipping his own wings.

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Where is our governor, and where is he going all the time?
Although we believe Gov. Charles Turnbull's heart is in the right place, it's time for some of his friends and advisers to give him a reality check on his actions and image.
He behaves like a new celebrity — going here, going there, Denmark today, a fraternity celebration tomorrow. In the last month he was out of the territory almost half the time. He came back last week for one day and then took off again.
Undoubtedly some of these trips were and are necessary, but with all that is happening in the territory and with the talk of pay cuts and layoffs, we think he ought to think twice before he flies off too frequently in the future.
We still await appointments to important boards and commissions. We still await details of the restructuring plan. We still await information about how these changes will affect our daily lives.
But the governor is not the only V.I. official flying here, there and everywhere. Certain senators seem to be off-island frequently, and the people have a right to know where they're going and why those trips are justified, given our financial crisis.
One has to wonder: Do all of these officials travel first-class at our expense? We have heard of government officials bragging that they haven't traveled coach class in two decades. We have also been told that a certain senator attending a convention in Las Vegas last year disappeared for three days into the casinos. We know that members of some boards and commissions, notably the V.I. Port Authority, seem to travel when and where they want — again, first-class, with no restrictions.
First-class tickets, first-class hotels, gambling in Las Vegas — do we have to wonder why the Virgin Islands government is bankrupt and why the public is so cynical about where public money goes?
It is time for all non-essential travel to stop. It is also time to implement Sen. Almando "Rocky" Liburd's excellent recommendation that all frequent flyer miles earned by people traveling on tickets paid by the government be turned back to the government.
The days of misusing privileges are over. We have seen where that has gotten us.
Gov. Turnbull should set the proper tone and example by clipping his own wings.