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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, December 4, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesLarsen Says Spreadsheet Shows Real Cost of Pay Raises

Larsen Says Spreadsheet Shows Real Cost of Pay Raises

Dear Source:
Everybody knows now that there is a grass root movement on the big island to recall 4 STX senators. In a joint meeting, Friday, between our legal and accounting team a spreadsheet was presented. In a public meeting the night before Mario Moorhead, pointed out, that the pay-increases was based, not on the lowest paid Commissioner, but the lowest paid of a specific group of commissioners (the 7 highest paid). So instead of $20,000 our Senators are pocketing an extra $28,000. The spread sheet shows the impact these raises will have on GERS. It also adds up the final bill to the public from these raises. It comes to 3.734 million dollars.
This spreadsheet was handed out to the Governor and everybody else who sat in the first row at the opening ceremony of the Ag-fair Saturday. We also had signs with the spelling of GREED for all to see. With the lifting of the cap on the allowed (was 80%) retirement benefits, a Senator can now make more in retirement than as a "working" Senator.
Who do you think is going to pay for this? Yes, that would be YOU. What you may not know is that Ronald Russell, in his fight to prevent the petition drive to take place at the Sunshine Mall, did not just break any law. He violated The First Amendment. It is mind-boggling, that someone who is a lawyer will go to this extreme. I am sure you know that 4 Senators signed petitions with FCC on Senate official stationary, citing Roger Morgan attempting "to overthrow the VI government, creating racial divide and more" This case has been taken up by talk show hosts all over US, and resulted in yesterday's interview by NY Times.
An assistant to deJongh called Roger Thursday and told him that the Gov. "was working on it." However, our team has seen enough evidence to convince us, that deJongh approved the Omnibus bill before he became Gov. This also explain the silence. Whatever motivated him to do this is somewhat murky. One think we know, however, is that the reaction, especially here on STX, caught all implicated parties by surprise. I think it is safe to say, that Rodger Morgan's 'Free Speech", seconded by Mario Moorhead and others kept the fire burning.
As for Governor deJongh, we no longer think of him as the solution, In fact we think he is very much part of the problem. For those of us who went overboard to get him elected, who saw him as the knight In Shining Armor, this a bitter pill to swallow.
The more we dig, the more depressed we get. It is simply getting to the point, where we realize that corruption in the Senate as well as in Government house is so deeply rooted, that we as ordinary people stand almost helpless in the face of it. Yes, deJongh is obviously doing some cleaning up, and there is little doubt that a former Governor is the ultimate prize, but if deJongh's governorship is nothing but another chapter in the same old book, the significance of this move is lessened considerably. The Governor has spoken to nobody. However, 45 days with his head in the sand has not made this problem go away. His approval rating on Stx is dipping for every day that goes by. On the street (where we collect the petition signatures) I hear remarks like: Good at going to parties, very good at attending funerals and extremely good at ignoring the worst political crises we have seen in modern time on STX.
Needless to say, that all this could stop, if the Omnibus bill was repealed. Eventually much of our findings will find their way to the Federal Government, but even then we cannot be sure that anything will happen. The Feds tend to 'go easy' down here. Many attempts have been made to make this a racial issue. Almost all these attempts are coming from the 4 Senators being petitioned. Very sad indeed. If there is color involved, it is the color GREEN, the color of money. Speaking for many,
Steffen Larsen
St. Croix
Editors note:We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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