April 27, 2004 Senators Monday overrode the governor's veto of a bill to grant peace-officer status and arrest powers to investigators in the Inspector General's office.
Gov. Charles Turnbull had vetoed the bill April 7. He had said he would provide new legislation granting the officers the peace-officer status but not arrest powers. Attorney General Iver Stridiron had urged the veto.
"Having peace-officer status without the power to arrest is meaningless," Inspector General Steven van Beverhoudt said.
The legislature saw eye-to-eye with van Beverhoudt, and without major discussion, unanimously voted to override Turnbull's veto making the bill law. Sen. Celestino White was absent at the time of the vote.
Van Beverhoudt said early Tuesday morning that he was "happy for the override" although he had mixed feelings.
"I wish that it didn't have to come this way," van Beverhoudt said. "I wish we had the administration's support."
The senators also voted to override two items that Turnbull had line item vetoed in other bills.
One item authorizes two appropriations from the St. John Capital Improvement Fund. One appropriation is $200,000 to update and correct maps of St. John. The second is $150,000 to the Department of Licensing and Consumer Services, Taxi Division, to employ two dispatchers and one enforcement officer to assist with the operation of the taxi service at the Cruz Bay Dock in St. John.
The other item overridden was a section in the V.I. Omnibus Act of 2004. The senate action will allow the transfer of the building housing the Police Crime Lab at Tolbot Gade to the V.I. Lottery.
In other action Monday, the legislature, after some debate, voted to approve the governor's nominations of Deandre Atwell and Anthon Winston Adams to the Waste Management Authority board.
"Now, while I was not in support of the Waste Management Authority and voted no, I will support these two nominees to make a bad situation good," White said, adding that they were "highly-qualified" for the position.
Other senators who had voted against the establishment of the authority didn't hold White's view.
"I am not voting for any nominee to sit on this board for the Waste Management Authority," Sen. Usie Richards said. "I am not going to support bringing this agency to fruition."
Sen. Shawn-Michael Malone echoed similar sentiments. "I cannot support Mr. Adams or Ms. Atwell although I have high regards for them," Malone said. "But the principle of the matter is I cannot approve the nominees when I don't support the authority itself."
Sens. Adlah Donastorg and Norman Jn. Baptiste said they would also withhold their support of the nominees because they didn't favor the Waste Management Authority.
In the end Atwell's nomination was approved with a 10-3 vote. Donastorg, Malone and Richards voted in the negative. Baptiste abstained and White was absent from the floor at the time of the vote.
Adams nomination also was approved with a 10-3 vote with, once again, Donastorg, Malone and Richards voting in the negative. Baptiste abstained and White was absent from the floor.
Other legislation approved was a bill to declare Quadrille the official native dance of the Virgin Islands, a bill to name the main public road in the Estate Fortuna/Bordeaux area, running westward from the police fire substation continuing to the Blue Water Crest Community, after the late Daisy Robelta Bough, and a bill to name the Visitor's Bureau at the West Indian Company Dock "The John E. McCleverty Visitor's Bureau."
The 25th Legislature also voted to approve a lease agreement between the Government of the Virgin Islands, Department of Property and Procurement and FLBN-Subbase Corporation, which owns Pueblo Sub Base. The corporation plans to add a video department and house an ATM machine.
And in the few minutes before the opening of the Carnival Village ceremony, legislators rushed to approve seven, rezoning permits without any discussion.
All senators were present during the daylong session.
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