PFA Deals with Resignations, Funding Requests

Public Finance Authority board members opened a special meeting on St. Thomas on Thursday with new nominations to board of the West Indian Co. Ltd. following the resignations of Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty and Roberto Cintron.

Both Nicholson-Doty and Cintron serve on the board of the V.I. Port Authority, and PFA board members said Thursday that both have said that serving on both boards would be a conflict of interest – WICO is a wholly owned subsidiary of the PFA. In their place, PFA board members approved the nominations of Michele Nico and realtor April Newland to the WICO board.

Gov. Kenneth Mapp as PFA board chairman also announced Thursday that Mark McGibbon had been tapped as the new president and chief executive officer of the Virgin Islands Next Generation Network.

According to the viNGN website, McGibbon has decades of experience in small business, along with corporate, academic and federal government experience in business, computer science and information technology. His past leadership experiences include positions as a CEO, chief operations officer, chief information officer, chief architect, program manager and project manager at the Lockheed Martin Corporation, Allied Communication Systems, Science Applications International Corporation, McGibbon Consulting Inc. and the U.S. Navy. The majority of his business experience is within IT management.

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The viNGN is also a wholly owned subsidiary of the PFA.

Transitioning back into PFA matters, the board approved:

– a $1 million funding request from the Department of Health to purchase seven new ambulances, four for St. Croix, two for St. Thomas and one for St. John. Board members said it would take approximately six months to build each ambulance;

– $245,000 from the PFA’s project and administration fund for the relocation of the Justice Department’s Child Support and Paternity offices on St. Croix. PFA Executive Director Valdamier Collens said the facility that the division is currently in is “hazardous to employees” and needs to be renovated; in the meantime, the office will move to a location in Estate Orange Grove;

– and a $750,000 loan to the V.I. Waste Management Authority to pay vendors. Collens and Mapp said the amount owed to VIWMA vendors is $11.9 million and, while requests have been made to the Legislature for $2.5 million in working capital for agency and $10 million for landfill infrastructure, the money will help the agency stabilize its operations in the meantime.

The money is split between PFA settlement funds ($450,000) and funds leftover from the PFA’s Office of Economic Opportunity ($350,000.)

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