Gov. Charles W. Turnbull warned the public not to be misled by those seeking political "brownie points" by attacking the memorandum of understanding with the Interior Department that Turnbull signed Tuesday.
Sen. V. Anne Golden said in a legislative session that day that the terms of the memorandum created a de facto control board.
But Turnbull said in a release from his office Thursday night that "to suggest that the agreement creates a federal control board is the furthest thing from the truth. Our actions are aimed at preventing a federal takeover by taking necessary action to bring reform to our financial management."
Turnbull said his impression, after meetings with Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, is that the federal government is willing to help the Virgin Islands financially if the V.I. is willing to help itself.
Indeed, that has been the message since January's meeting with Babbitt in St. Thomas.
In that meeting it was agreed that the territorial and federal governments would work together to formulate a joint comprehensive plan that would address the territory's political, economic, social and cultural concerns and make recommendations.
Babbitt said a joint committee would be formed to study areas of concern and come up with legislative and programmatic solutions.
In January Babbitt also said the V.I. had 30 days to come up with a comprehensive plan.
In Thursday's release Turnbull said, "The performance standards I have agreed to with the Department of Interior are primarily my budget reduction initiatives" that have already been presented to department heads and the public.
"To suggest these items have not been raised in several venues are inconsistent with the facts and contrary to the public record," Turnbull concluded.
Editor's note: For the terms of the memorandum see earlier story "Governor signs memorandum of understanding."