Public Works Commissioner, OMB Director Sworn In

From left, Gov. Kenneth Mapp, Budget Director Julio Rhymer, Public Works Commissioner Nelson Petty Jr. and Lt. Gov. Osbert Potter pose after Tuesday's swearing-in ceremony. (Government House photo)
From left, Gov. Kenneth Mapp, Budget Director Julio Rhymer, Public Works Commissioner Nelson Petty Jr. and Lt. Gov. Osbert Potter pose after Tuesday’s swearing-in ceremony. (Government House photo)

Nelson Petty Jr. and Julio Rhymer took their oaths of office Tuesday as public works commissioner and budget director, respectively, at a ceremony in Government House on St. Thomas.

V.I. Supreme Court Justice Maria Cabret administered the oath.

In a statement, Gov. Kenneth Mapp emphasized the important roles he believes Petty and Rhymer will play in rebuilding the infrastructure of the territory.

“This is a great time to be in public service in the Virgin Islands,” Mapp said. “It’s going to take a lot of hours and you’ll have to make tough decisions. The federal government has approved billions of dollars for our recovery and I am excited that two capable leaders will be part of that process,” he continued.

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Petty said he is grateful for the many experiences he has already had during his appointment.

“I took the job two weeks before two Category 5 hurricanes hit,” Petty said. “And even with that, I wouldn’t change it. It’s been a tremendous learning experience – it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to improve our infrastructure,” he continued.

After getting a bachelor’s in civil engineering, Petty began his career at the Department of Public Works. He has held numerous positions over the last two decades, including construction program manager, working as a lead engineer for all federally funded highway projects.

Prior to his appointment, Rhymer was the executive director and chief executive officer of the V.I. Water and Power Authority. He joined WAPA as chief financial officer in 2012 and was CFO of the V.I. Housing Finance Authority before taking his position at WAPA. Rhymer holds a master’s in accounting and financial management and a master of business administration.

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