The Source talked with Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. about his first six months in office, reviewing some of the critical issues facing his administration.
In the third part of our video series, the governor shares his vision for making art and artifacts collected by the government more accessible to the public. That includes finding spaces for showcasing art, including local forts, libraries and airports, and bringing on an entity that could allow the art to be experienced in a more meaningful way.
“I’d love to see the history of what we have come to life,” the governor said. “But it has to be showcased in a way that makes them come alive and that is interesting.”
Similarly, the governor spoke about progress being made with establishing his Vision 2040 Task Force, an initiative being led by the Economic Development Authority.
Bryan said that, in an effort to transform the territory into the “best it can be,” it may be necessary to bring in an outside economic development consultant to work with the EDA on a competitive 20-year plan and related industry analysis.
“The Virgin Islands we want to build already exists somewhere, so it’s not a great leap of faith we have to take,” he said. “We just have to commit to the vision and put our backs into it.”
Part of the process is coming up with an overall plan to stabilize the Government Employees’ Retirement System, Bryan said. At this point, the government is looking to complete two first steps: finding new revenue sources to support the GERS, and finding an entity that would be willing to loan the government the money.
“If we get those two things done we’re 90 percent of the way there,” he said.
The next 10 percent isn’t as easy. Bryan said that last step could involve changing the government’s overall pension plan so that it may not “be as rich, but it will be more stable.” Reevaluating any changes every five to 10 years is also important, he added.
More from our conversation with the governor will appear this week on the Source.