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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, February 26, 2024


Two incoming senators — freshman Donald "Ducks" Cole and George Goodwin — have set a wonderful example for others by limiting or refusing the use of government vehicles and by recycling furniture.
Cole began the trend this week, saying he would not use his government-assigned vehicle after 5 p.m. or on weekends, and encouraged his colleagues to follow suit.
Then Goodwin announced he would go one better. He wouldnÆt use his assigned vehicle at all, a policy he began as a member of the 21st Legislature. And heÆs furnishing his office with recycled furniture.
Though these measures are minuscule when stacked up against the woeful state of the V.I. government's finances, they are major in the example they set as well as the precedent.
Goodwin was reported to be reupholstering recycled chairs while other senators were busy buying new ones. Who is buying new furniture, and why? How old is the furniture that is being replaced? How much will this draw from the public treasury?
We don't expect our elected officials to conduct public business in the dismally rundown conditions that exist in many government offices — the Police Department's Zone A Command, for example — but we do expect them to consider carefully every dime they spend.
This is why Cole and Goodwin have set a fine example of thrift not only for other senators but for every official and employee who spends public money.
Is it more important that our senators, who make more than $65,000 a year, have a taxpayer-furnished vehicle or that our police cars have fuel and our children have textbooks?

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