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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, November 30, 2023


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April 25, 2003 — Today in a letter addressed to Governor Charles W. Turnbull, Senator Shawn-Michael Malone outlined suggestions that would bolster government revenues and possibly end the need for the severe austerity measures that loom in the direct future for the territory.
Senator Malone thanked the Governor for his honest, detailed assessment of the fiscal condition of the government and averting political polarization of this economic issue through his meeting with members of the 25th Legislature and the judicial branch on Thursday, April 24, 2003. The meeting foreshadowed the public release of the measures the Administration will implement to correct the current fiscal crisis, including the proposed shortened workweek and possible short-term borrowing.
"It is my opinion that implementing a 36-hour workweek is not the only viable means of saving money. In fact, it should be among the last possible measures to address the fiscal crisis we are facing. Although the shortened work week proposal affects all government employees, it will, in fact, affect lower level compensated employees more than any other employee in this government. I cannot support a policy that penalizes the average working man and woman," Senator Malone wrote. In addition to external economic forces, our financial problems can be attributed to lack of enforcement and improper management of our government and its resources," the Senator added. Instead, the Senator outlined his own proposals to remedy the fiscal woes of the government. "If the administration is sincere in its efforts to solve this problem, the just action would be for Governor Turnbull to issue an executive order to rescind the raises that were given to members of the Executive branch through Executive Order No.401-2001," Senator Malone added. "This gesture would communicate to everyone that those of us in positions of leadership are prepared to lead by example and communicate to all concerned that the situation is very true and serious," Senator Malone continued.
Senator Malone also suggested that the government begin to conduct real property assessments in the manner prescribed by law and ordered by the District Court as one direct method of generating revenue.
The current methodology places the government at a disadvantage – assessing commercial property taxes at 1999 values and opens the government to future class action suits by residential property owners.
Senator Malone also reiterated the need for the Government to better utilize the Department of Property and Procurement as a revenue-generating organ of the government. In addition to mandating and enforcing government agencies to use the Government printing shop before utilizing other design or printing vendors, Senator Malone suggested expanding operations of the Government printing shop to solicit business from the private sector as a means of generating additional revenues for the government. The Senator had made this suggestion to the Governor prior to this recent alarm of the government’s fiscal crisis.
Another suggestion offered by Senator Malone was the implementation of a bi-monthly pay schedule. "I know for a fact that a bi-monthly pay schedule would eliminate two pay periods resulting in a couple million dollars in savings to the government. This pay schedule would also better enhance the government’s ability to maintain a positive balance, giving the government more flexibility in managing the current fiscal crisis," said Senator Malone.
Other suggestions offered by Senator Malone included expediting pending capital projects, and proper usage of the Indirect Cost Fund so that agencies can utilize more of the Federal dollars for goods and services to the people who need them most especially in tough financial times.
Finally, Senator Malone urged the Governor to honor the promises made by the Democratic Party on the campaign trail of 2002, specifically the promise of maintaining transparency in government.

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