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Monday, July 15, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesTOURISM HEAD COULD SHED POSTS AT IDC AND VIPA

TOURISM HEAD COULD SHED POSTS AT IDC AND VIPA

Gov. Charles W. Turnbull has presented a bill to the Legislature that would remove the Tourism commissioner as the chairman of the Industrial Development Commission and the Virgin Islands Port Authority. The bill is on the agenda for Friday's special legislative session.
It is a move that Tourism Commissioner Rafael Jackson has asked for in the past, and it is speculated that the governor's move could ward off Jackson's resignation.
Removing the Tourism commissioner as chair of the two boards was also recommended in the Five Year Operating and Strategic Financial Plan. However, the plan suggested the Tourism head remain on the boards.
Five year plan co-chair John deJongh Jr. said Friday morning, "How can you have the person who is in charge of Tourism completely removed from those boards (IDC and VIPA)? The Tourism commissioner needs to have a seat at the table." Tourism, the IDC and the Port Authority are interrelated, deJongh said.
It was unclear from the governor's transmission if the Tourism commissioner would remain on the board, or who would replace him as chairperson of the two boards.
The governor has also sent down two other bills for consideration: one that would reprogram funds from the Internal Revenue Matching Fund to pay the money owed to the Federal Bureau of Prisons; the other seeking to use the Insurance Guaranty fund and other monies to pay teacher salary increases. See related story for details of the governor's proposal.

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