Mapps doom and gloo...
 
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Mapps doom and gloom speech, anyone  

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Pdmargie
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January 27, 2015 7:41 pm  

The VI is at the brink of financial disaster. Doesn't sound particularly beneficial for those of us thinking of making a move, sorry to say. What do you on islanders think of his speech?


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ms411
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January 27, 2015 7:51 pm  

None of it was news to most of us.


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Alana33
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January 27, 2015 8:40 pm  

Sad to say but it's true.

The VI government has been robbing Peter to pay Paul for decades.
Nothing has curbed the misspending, mismanagement, misappropriation, misuse, waste and in some cases, outright theft of funds by our VI government and our legislature members who can't manage to budget their way out of a paper bag.

No surprise here!

Now how about those salaries, perks, benefits, bonuses, health care and retirement benefits for those new 1000 government employees that Mapp was promising during his campaign?

The public and private sector will be digging deep in their pockets to support the government while Mapp still owes his taxes but we need to all "pay up."


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East Ender
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January 27, 2015 8:41 pm  

If I can remember back that far, I think Schneider said the same thing. So did De Jongh. I don't remember Turnbull ever saying anything at all. Oh, except the time he was bidding against himself at the Synagogue Auction....


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ms411
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January 27, 2015 8:49 pm  

But times were better when they were saying it. We still had Hovensa and the stores were mostly profitable. Caneel closes now for 2 months every year. More and more people are buying more and more online.

The VI government has been crying wolf for too long. Nobody believes the wolf is real.


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Alana33
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January 27, 2015 8:52 pm  

Or that the wolf is in sheep's clothing.

It's our wasteful government spending that is crippling US.


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vicanuck
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January 27, 2015 9:40 pm  

Same old, same old.


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OldTart
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January 27, 2015 11:24 pm  

The address isn't even worthy of any discussion. The events of the next four years will be.


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ms411
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January 28, 2015 12:09 am  

Here's last year's address for comparison.

http://virginislandsdailynews.com/news/gov-john-dejongh-jr-s-2014-state-of-the-territory-address-1.1623863


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ChrisMI
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January 28, 2015 9:16 am  

The VI is at the brink of financial disaster. Doesn't sound particularly beneficial for those of us thinking of making a move, sorry to say. What do you on islanders think of his speech?

You needn't worry about it. Mapp is setting the stage with this stern warning because tough decisions need to be made by the Legislature, and he needs other groups (gov't employees, pensioners, wealthy people) to be on board with making changes. Financial trouble for a municipality (and the USVI is just like a US city in this respect) doesn't suddenly cause an implosion overnight, or even in weeks or months. Look at the other municipal BKs we've had in recent years - they didn't descend into chaos, or have everyone leave. Even a bankruptcy leaves day to day life and services largely intact for residents (and visitors). Look at Detroit - massive bankruptcy, with bondholders getting screwed and pensioners getting a haircut, but police and fire still working, garbage still getting picked up, etc - and the City being in a much better place to restart financially after all of it is worked through.


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OldTart
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January 28, 2015 10:03 am  

... and the City being in a much better place to restart financially after all of it is worked through.

Oh.


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ms411
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January 28, 2015 10:35 am  

Except territories can't file bankruptcy.

http://www.businessinsider.com/puerto-rico-bailout-2013-10

The VI govt has already suspended trash pick ups in several locations. Note what happened with fire on St John last week - limited resources may have prolonged the fire.

Detroit has been able to attract private sector jobs, whereas the VI has not for the most part. I subscribe to a Detroit online newsletter to see what's going on in Detroit. Mapp should read it.


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IslandHops
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January 28, 2015 11:06 am  

So as no surprise to anyone with a scorecard, Mapp laid out that we are deeply mired in a financial cesspool (and per politics, all due to the previous administration of course). He then proceeded to identify how some of the significant deficit could be overcome through rigorous collection of outstanding debt. I especially liked when he encouraged those on payment plans to step up their repayment schedule (including himself), how ironic. And clamping down on management of federal grants is way overdue.

He also referred to a phone call with Hovensa regarding their commitment to meet their obligations to the territory, but instead of using this as a way to negotiate settlement of the 40m debt, he asks the legislature to piss away 1M for off-island lawyers to continue the hard line stance, all while toting he is pro-business. Note that he kept mentioning Hess in his speech, never referring to the actual company Hovensa, nor the other partner PDVSA. Misleading and inaccurate. And he certainly didn't address the 236m that the territory owes Hess/PDVSA in tax refunds. This debt is not going away or can be swept under the rug.

And after explaining our financial Dire Straits he went right into all the wonderful things he was going to do for education, police, health etc. A lot of the ideas create a positive vision - but it must be planned, funded and executed. These are the critical areas where past similar visions come off the rails.

While we are all Brothers in Arms during this period of economic crisis, we simply can't get Money for Nothing. The closing of Hovensa without hope of a sale may be seem by some to overcome our Industrial Disease, but it leaves us So Far Away from a significant recovery. And when we truly needed some Private Investigation to overcome the past and present misuse of funds, the loss of an ethical AG at DOJ puts us between a Solid Rock and a hard place, while the suspects continue to Skateaway.

If nothing else, it will be an interesting 4 years in this Walk of Life. 😎


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ms411
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January 28, 2015 11:13 am  

Excellent summary, IslandHops. Too bad it isn't published more widely.


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vicanuck
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January 28, 2015 11:19 am  

I loved the Dire Straits references! One can only hope that this governor will begin to turn things around for the territory, but as a 10 year resident and business owner, I'm not holding my breath. I imagine we'll be back to business as usual once the newly anointed get a taste of power as they saddle up to the trough.


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OldTart
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January 28, 2015 11:42 am  

I wonder why he wants to do away with the territory's federal fiscal oversight. 😀


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IslandHops
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January 28, 2015 12:09 pm  

I wonder why he wants to do away with the territory's federal fiscal oversight. 😀

Today, we end up pissing away boat loads of money on federally mandated oversight, all because in the past some folks couldn't keep their hands out of the cookie jar, hence couldn't accurately account for our use of federal funds. We still need oversight, but not at what we are paying for it today. What is really needed is an audit-able system to track and account for how every penny is spent. Show the feds we have that in place and are using it and low and behold we won't be on the hook anymore. This would free up more funds to be used where they are really intended, instead of on oversight.


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OldTart
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January 28, 2015 12:24 pm  

I wonder why he wants to do away with the territory's federal fiscal oversight. 😀

Today, we end up pissing away boat loads of money on federally mandated oversight, all because in the past some folks couldn't keep their hands out of the cookie jar, hence couldn't accurately account for our use of federal funds. We still need oversight, but not at what we are paying for it today. What is really needed is an audit-able system to track and account for how every penny is spent. Show the feds we have that in place and are using it and low and behold we won't be on the hook anymore. This would free up more funds to be used where they are really intended, instead of on oversight.

An admirable point but I'm highly sceptical that any reliance of the hands in the cookie jar being shackled is anything other than a pipe dream.


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ms411
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January 28, 2015 12:46 pm  

Lack of a govt wide unified tracking system is part of the problem. Too easy for money to fall down the rabbit hole.


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IslandHops
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January 28, 2015 1:20 pm  

And to manage the change to implement a fully integrated ERP/Accounting package, with the prerequisite analysis and changes in processes, is just too painful to imagine. "..no we want to do it the way we always done it..."

Much easier to continue talking the bs and smoking the pipe dream. 😎

It's our relationship to the US that keeps us from descending into a true a banana republic, but the seeds have been sowed (do bananas even grow from seeds?). 😎

BTW - Remember that all these 'Federal Funds' aren't really ours. Unlike States, we pay no taxes to the Federal Government (ex, ss/mcare) so we can't expect "our share" from the feds as many local "leaders" like to expound upon. We are just an expense to the Feds. We should be thankful for every cent of free money we get and be willing to account for how it is spent.


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OldTart
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January 28, 2015 1:59 pm  

... (do bananas even grow from seeds?).

Commercial bananas have been engineered to be seedless triploids and are propagated from banana pups (woof!). Wild bananas can be propagated by their seeds. 😀


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Pdmargie
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January 29, 2015 6:36 pm  

A few of my main reasons for timing my move to STX for next year depended on the refinery reopening and Juan F Luis hospital straightening out its problems. With those two major items no longer seeming likely in the short term, I am seriously considering moving back my time line for the possible move. I will continue monitoring the situation closely. I admit I'm somewhat discouraged : ( I was looking at moving ASAP.


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East Ender
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January 30, 2015 11:16 am  

You could move asap to St Thomas... Hospital is much farther down the "straightened out" line than the St Croix counterpart....


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Gator's Mom
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January 30, 2015 11:24 am  

States and local governments are exempt from federal taxation (as long as the proceeds of income come from governmental functions and purposes) under Section 103 of the IRS Code of 1986, as amended.


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Pdmargie
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January 30, 2015 1:19 pm  

You could move asap to St Thomas... Hospital is much farther down the "straightened out" line than the St Croix counterpart....

Hmmm,...EastEnder. I may have to rethink how badly I want to make the move. Although STJ is my first love, employment opportunities there are limited for Critical Care Nurses. STX is, IMHO, the "best" fit for what I'm looking for. STT would be my third choice but if it gets me there sooner, I could adapt,....plus it would leave me A LOT closer to the better sailing opportunities I so deary love. Not to mention those BVI woman with their delightful accents! Lol! I suppose if I could arrange to work three 12 hour shifts or two 16 hour shifts/week on STT, I might be able to commute from living on STJ. Hmmmm. Anyone looking for a clean, mechanically handy, responsible yet fun roomate on STJ? I Enjoy gourmet cooking, sailing, SCUBA diving/snorkeling, photography, astronomy, computers/technology, make a mean Margarita and have a witty and wry sense of humor. Would prefer a female roomate,....but then again,.....who wouldn't?!!? Oh,.....I'm also not an axe murderer if that's important to you ; )


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