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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, July 1, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesIN THE MIRROR OF THE PAST, READ THE MAPP

IN THE MIRROR OF THE PAST, READ THE MAPP

The Virgin Islands cannot afford to have another pair of incumbent chief executives at odds for the rest of their elected term. For this reason, I publicly suggest that Lt. Gov. Gerard Luz James II meet with Gov. Charles W. Turnbull and find some common ground.
I realize that any attempts to have St. Thomas officials deliver resources and pay attention to St. Croix's needs are an excercise in futility. This was most recently demonstrated by the squabble over invitations to the St. Croix Government House reception. However, and given St. Croix's economic situation, James should do whatever is possible to enhance, and not undermine, his relationship with the governor.
Yes, there will always be a group of St. Thomas staffers running things, but that is precisely why we need our St. Croix-born lieutenant governor's advocacy on behalf of the people of St. Croix. The governor demonstrated his willingness to correct his mistake of not issuing enough invitations to the St. Croix-based lieutenant governor, who wanted to invite more constituents to the rededication of the recently refurbished Government House.
Now, the ball is in the lieutenant governor's court. Will James utilize his new-found clout on behalf of his constituents, or will he fall for the lure of the media coverage and attention that an acrimonous relationship with the governor will bring him? Let's not forget the lessons of the past.
Once upon a time, a bright young politician, Kenneth Mapp, was elected lieutenant governor by the people of the Virgin Islands. Unfortunately, and as a result of a situation similar to that being faced by James, he undermined his impact and ability to bring about positive change on behalf of the people of St. Croix due to his unwillingness to sit down and resolve his differences with Gov. Schneider. Differences that more often than not were simply exaggerated by the St. Thomas-based staffers who feared that their clout and influence would be undermined by a bright, strong lieutenant governor.
There will always be those who feel, however, that pride cannot be placed aside and that a governor should be equally responsible for finding the middle ground. Let me just say that the responsibilities that a governor faces, especially in the Virgin Islands, are so overwhelming that little time is left to take care of differences in views and policies with his lieutenant governor.
Lt. Gov. James, you are looking right into the mirror of the past. There will also be those who will encourage the lieutenant governor to fight, embarrass and argue with the governor. Those are the people who thrive in the us-versus-them environment. However, those individuals have nothing to offer to our people. They cannot deliver for us. Lt. Gov. James must not listen to the ill-advising of those who care for no one but themselves.
In the end, only those elected to high office are responsible for the level of productivity and achievements realized on behalf of the people who elected them. Both the governor and the lieutenant governor have the power in their hands to make a difference; therefore, isn't it in their best interest to find some common ground? I believe so. Not doing so would be at the peril of the people and a sure recipe for defeat in 2002.
Robert Acosta III
Silver Spring, Md.

Editor's note: Robert Acosta III has been a spokesman for Gov. Roy. L. Schneider, a legisative assistant to Delegate Victor Frazer and a media specialist for the Legislature. He is currently an automotive industry lobbyist in Washington, D.C.

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The Virgin Islands cannot afford to have another pair of incumbent chief executives at odds for the rest of their elected term. For this reason, I publicly suggest that Lt. Gov. Gerard Luz James II meet with Gov. Charles W. Turnbull and find some common ground.
I realize that any attempts to have St. Thomas officials deliver resources and pay attention to St. Croix's needs are an excercise in futility. This was most recently demonstrated by the squabble over invitations to the St. Croix Government House reception. However, and given St. Croix's economic situation, James should do whatever is possible to enhance, and not undermine, his relationship with the governor.
Yes, there will always be a group of St. Thomas staffers running things, but that is precisely why we need our St. Croix-born lieutenant governor's advocacy on behalf of the people of St. Croix. The governor demonstrated his willingness to correct his mistake of not issuing enough invitations to the St. Croix-based lieutenant governor, who wanted to invite more constituents to the rededication of the recently refurbished Government House.
Now, the ball is in the lieutenant governor's court. Will James utilize his new-found clout on behalf of his constituents, or will he fall for the lure of the media coverage and attention that an acrimonous relationship with the governor will bring him? Let's not forget the lessons of the past.
Once upon a time, a bright young politician, Kenneth Mapp, was elected lieutenant governor by the people of the Virgin Islands. Unfortunately, and as a result of a situation similar to that being faced by James, he undermined his impact and ability to bring about positive change on behalf of the people of St. Croix due to his unwillingness to sit down and resolve his differences with Gov. Schneider. Differences that more often than not were simply exaggerated by the St. Thomas-based staffers who feared that their clout and influence would be undermined by a bright, strong lieutenant governor.
There will always be those who feel, however, that pride cannot be placed aside and that a governor should be equally responsible for finding the middle ground. Let me just say that the responsibilities that a governor faces, especially in the Virgin Islands, are so overwhelming that little time is left to take care of differences in views and policies with his lieutenant governor.
Lt. Gov. James, you are looking right into the mirror of the past. There will also be those who will encourage the lieutenant governor to fight, embarrass and argue with the governor. Those are the people who thrive in the us-versus-them environment. However, those individuals have nothing to offer to our people. They cannot deliver for us. Lt. Gov. James must not listen to the ill-advising of those who care for no one but themselves.
In the end, only those elected to high office are responsible for the level of productivity and achievements realized on behalf of the people who elected them. Both the governor and the lieutenant governor have the power in their hands to make a difference; therefore, isn't it in their best interest to find some common ground? I believe so. Not doing so would be at the peril of the people and a sure recipe for defeat in 2002.
Robert Acosta III
Silver Spring, Md.

Editor's note: Robert Acosta III has been a spokesman for Gov. Roy. L. Schneider, a legisative assistant to Delegate Victor Frazer and a media specialist for the Legislature. He is currently an automotive industry lobbyist in Washington, D.C.