Noting the dire state of the territory’s finances, Delegate Stacey Plaskett has written to Gov. Kenneth Mapp, saying recent closed door meetings he held with the Legislature and the business community should have been more public and should have included her office.
In Tuesday’s letter, Plaskett said she found it questionable that Mapp has chosen to conduct the financial meetings without involving her office, especially given the government’s continued push for increased federal funding and concerns surrounding the local government’s past federal spending.
“This is a moment in the history of the territory requiring all hands on deck as well as an open and transparent approach inclusive of V.I. leaders at all levels of government," Plaskett said.
Bemoaning the closed door meeting approach employed by the governor to discuss the state of the government’s finances and Mapp’s proposed five-year financial plan, Plaskett said, "Our people deserve their elected leaders to exhibit true leadership and honesty on all matters, but most certainly when the creditworthiness of the territory has been negatively affected, thus impacting the lives of current and future generations of Virgin Islanders.”
Plaskett expressed hope that the governor would afford the people of the Virgin Islands the respect of keeping her office and the public engaged or at least apprised of any plan considered or created locally where federal intervention may be the ultimate recourse given the gravity of the circumstances.
Plaskett’s letter comes less than a week before Mapp is expected to address the poor financial health of the Virgin Islands in his third state of the territory address. Mapp’s address is scheduled for Monday at 7 p.m.