Verdel Petersen's comments, "It is not their job to ensure that reforms in the public school educational system are effectuated. That's the job of the administration", were quite surprising. If the Senate has no role in effectuating reforms in the educational system and only role is to make laws, why were they voting on the Administration's decision on how to bring about reform? If your statement is accurate, there would be no need for the Senate to have a vote for or against the Administration's decision of Dr. Spampinato as Commissioner of Education or any other Commissioners of any other Dept. The Administration's decision to choose a Commissioner is not a law in the making.
In my entire life I have never heard that the voting public only vote for the Senators just to make laws. It is my understanding as I am sure it is with many others that the Senate has a larger role than only making laws. They play the key role in deciding who will run every sector of this Government. We vote for their entire role of bringing about positive changes in every sector of Government and laws which includes education.
The Administration can produce a nominee but has no authority to confirm that nominee beyond a temporary status. It is the Senate that confirms that nominee or not into a permanent position. That being the case, the senate does in fact very much affect every sector of this government. It is also the Senate that meets with every Commissioner yearly in the legislature as to each Dept's budgets and progresses. That also is not the making of laws.
I watched the televised meeting with Dr. Spampinato. Senator White along with others questioned her on her history. She explained to Senator White and the others that the sealed documents was a seal agreement by 3 parties not just herself. She also explained she had 31 years of employment history they could go through even though this particular one was sealed. The interest seemed to be focused on this one not the entire 31 years. It appears that this sealed agreement was in place before the Administration ever decided on Dr. Spampinato as a possibility for Commissioner of Education which means the Governor was aware of this. One would have to assume he must have looked at her entire 31 years of history before nominating her. Apparently the Governor had the common sense to realize if this was a 3 party seal agreement it may mean whatever it was, Dr. Spampinato may not be entirely at fault. If the other 2 parties did not have anything to worry about they would have had no reason to agree to a sealed document of any kind. If she was the only one at fault they could have refuse to seal the documents but if they had something to worry about, they would have a reason to want it sealed themselves. Maybe it was the Governor who really had the Ph.D. in common sense.
At the end of the day, the Administration attempted to bring about a change, and the Senate ruled a no on it. Education is without a commissioner and we are heading to the end of October. The Administration and the Senate are public servants who are voted into position to bring about the changes the community want. They are not there to serve themselves. They are there to serve the will of the people.
On one hand Mr. Petersen, you say you conducted a poll that clearly shows that the silent majority did not want Dr. Spampinato. On the other hand you say, the majority is not always right just look at the constitution and slavery. Well it can't be both ways now can it? So much for democracy being alive in the USVI, eh?
While politics are being played out, all the children lose. They too are part of this community.
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