It's a new day in the Virgin Islands. The people have spoken up for financial accountability.
With a record turnout and a landslide victory for Delegate Donna M. Christensen in Saturday's primary, it is clear that the electorate is fed up with the mismanagement and siphoning off of the territorys resources. But it will take more than a larger-than-usual number of voters turning out for a primary to reverse the tide of corruption, waste and abuse that has characterized the handling of contracts, money and workplace ethics for so many, for so long, in positions of power.
With a general election before us, hard questions need to be put to candidates and to people who have been appointed to positions of responsibility. Beyond that, the public needs to hold these officials accountable to their campaign promises and job requirements.
To start with, how would local legislation with real financial accountability be fashioned?
How much money are we willing to give the Inspector General's Office really, how much to ensure that he has everything he needs to do the job as it was intended: investigate fraud and corruption? We need to demand that candidates for elected office in November give specific answers to these and similar questions, and judge them accordingly.
Other questions need to be asked of many non-elected officials as part of this new day in the Virgin Islands. Will the new acting attorney general prosecute white-collar crime? How about the new acting U.S. attorney? We continue to believe that a few well-placed and successful prosecutions of people inside and out of government would go a long way toward cleaning up white-collar crime in these islands.
No more excuses. The people have spoken. It is time for financial and ethical accountability and enforcement to be the reigning motto of these beautiful islands.
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