Oct. 21, 2004 – The V.I. Port Authority board chose new officers Wednesday to fill positions of chairman, vice chairman, and secretary. Before nominations were taken, board member Leslie Milliner made a case to retain Pamela Richards, commissioner of the Department of Tourism, as the VIPA chair.
"We have a product, the product is tourism," Milliner said. "The Port Authority plays a very important part in that, to control the ports, airport and sea ports. Every tourist who passes through to contribute to our economy passes through the Port Authority. I think having Commissioner Richards as chair would be a good idea. I think we would get the most bang for the buck to have her in that position."
Board members agreed the chairperson would have to work closely with the commissioner of tourism, but said two people working together would be better than one person doing the job. Robert O'Conner, acting chairman, was nominated and elected chairman.
"Thanks for your vote of confidence," O'Conner said later. "I assure you I will work with Commissioner Richards. I will work with everyone, and I will be guided by this board."
James Rodgers was elected vice chairman, and Hector Peguero was elected secretary of the board.
Dale Gregory, director of Engineering, gave an abbreviated status report on Crown Bay Marina, saying the commercial area of the project was 80 percent finished, however; the "project is running a little behind," Gregory said. "The last report says it is three months behind schedule."
Milliner countered, saying that in his non-professional opinion the project is running six to eight months behind. The matter was then brought into executive session.
The board agreed to renew a three-year lease with a one-year option for Tyco (US) Inc. The company repairs phone lines between the Virgin Islands and South America, and stores equipment and other supplies in a Port Authority warehouse.
The board discussed reinstating a finance charge for accounts more than 90 days past due, particularly for companies owing more than $100,000. The charge was removed a few years ago, and hasn't been in place since. The board agreed to explore the possibility of applying interest to the past-due accounts at a future Finance Committee meeting.
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