We sat back as Gov. Kenneth Mapp removed not only the commissioners, save one, from the prior administration, but also as he dug deeper than any former governor chopping off one head after another, just because.
He struck fear into the hearts of all government managers and employees, and is still holding that sword over their heads.
But cutting the people directly under his control wasn’t enough.
Where Mapp clearly didn’t have the power – though he didn’t always seem to understand that – he reconfigured boards to do his head lopping for him.
First, we lost Hugo Hodge; then Carlton Dowe. Both young Virgin Islands men did their jobs without complaint despite, at least in Hodge’s case, constant hammering from all directions, never pausing in their pursuit of improving the authorities they lead.
The next head could be that of West Indian Co. Ltd.’s executive director, Joseph Boschulte, which we hope to stop.
When is enough enough? When will be citizens of this community shut down this governor’s guillotine?
We understand from reliable sources that Boschulte’s job was promised to former Sen. Clifford Graham. We say, since the vacancy at the V.I. Port Authority has already been created, give Graham that job. We don’t doubt that he can handle it and get up to speed on what’s required in due time.
But why on earth create another vacancy at a time of fiscal crisis and in the industry that drives our economy.
Not only are the ports the engines of our economy, but Havensight Mall, which falls under Boschulte’s purview, fuels part of the Government Employees Retirement System.
We cannot afford to lose one more highly qualified person who actually knows what’s going on. This is in no way meant to disparage those people who have tried to fill the shoes of the perfectly qualified, hard-working, experienced people they replaced. These changes happen when administrations change. But the sheer numbers of people who knew what the hell they were doing, and the caprice with which they were summarily dismissed by this governor in his very short time in office, is staggering and disturbing.
And the results are obvious to many of us. Look around: Our community is crumbling, inefficiencies are on the rise, lawlessness of every kind has reached devastating heights, and cynicism and fear are rampant.
So, we say, “… leave Joseph Boshulte alone.”