The hyperbolic prin...
 
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The hyperbolic prince?

 
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

The Crown Prince took up extensive radio time yesterday touting his plans for the financial recovery of the USVI:

http://stthomassource.com/content/news/local-news/2015/04/21/mapp-airs-plans-found-funds-am-radio

It seems to be more of the grandiose hyperbole. Amongst other things, Mr Mapp said during the interview that, “the territory is due to collect $35 million from the Environmental Protection Agency to be added to the V.I. treasury.

Presumably he’s referring to the almost $37 million in outstanding EPA grant funds noted in that agency’s recent report?

http://www.epa.gov/oig/reports/2015/20150417-15-P-0137.pdf

In the report, it’s noted that, “The USVI has not effectively implemented several environmental programs. In particular, the USVI’s implementation of the CWA and CAA Title V is deficient in key program areas. Deficiencies in DPNR’s financial systems have prevented DPNR from potentially receiving almost $37 million in outstanding grant funds (emphasis mine), which further hinders its ability to properly implement its environmental programs. The deficiencies and weaknesses we identified in USVI’s implementation of the CWA and CAA Title V programs, demand that Region 2 take substantial steps to remedy these issues and ensure that the USVI public and environment are protected.

Mr Mapp seems to be inferring that this “$35 million” is a windfall in the coffer which can be used for general funding whereas in fact it has one purpose and one purpose only - to implement EPA mandates and ensure that they're followed.

Am I mis-reading/misinterpreting?

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Topic starter Posted : April 22, 2015 10:22 am
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

No, IMO, you're reading/understanding correctly. The constant lies are what keep the electorate uninformed, and it's infuriating. But, I believe that some grant money from many sources is diverted to non approved projects or expenses. The VI seems to excel at that.

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Posted : April 22, 2015 11:11 am
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

It just more bull$hit from the VI government. Why people continue to listen to such drivel is beyond me.

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Posted : April 22, 2015 11:18 am
KimJ
 KimJ
(@KimJ)
New Member

I know you all are going to jump on me for this, but I really think the Governor is trying to come up with a plan to get his arms around the financial issues facing the VI. I used to work for a Fortune 50 company that went through many, many rounds of what they called "re-engineering." It is a process of getting your arms around all of the ways to cut spending, staff and change processes to make them more efficient and less costly. I can tell you from going through this for 10 years, that it starts with the low hanging fruit and then moves to the more difficult decisions & complicated changes.

From what I've read in the papers (and I don't have any inside info on this), the Governor is attempting to get his arms around the low hanging fruit. For example, moving violent prisoners off island to facilities in the states that can house them more cheaply and looking for federal moneys that can be spent to address the territory's issues, instead of spending VI tax moneys (e.g., federal money to address mental illness, seniors & new moms and their babies). Moving from 16 financial systems to one financial system is also a classic re-engineering move--our company did that with both its financial and technology systems. I think the Governor also mentioned collapsing the management structure of the two hospitals down to one to cut costs (this, I've got to believe, is going to be one of those more complicated changes). I suspect he is also looking at ways to reduce the cost of our borrowed money (another classic re-engineering move).

Has he missed the mark on things? Sure, his housing on St. Thomas, for one. Maybe the EPA comment -- I don't know the specifics of that, so I can't make an assessment. I'm sure there will be more things that will make you shake your head. I can honestly say that there are decisions I made on the job that I wish I could go back and change and fix. I suspect the Governor will feel the same way. However, let's look at the big picture to see if things will improve. It will be very easy to see if the VI gets the federal moneys and invests them as the Governor suggests -- accountability will be easy to determine. But let's give the guy a chance to implement and improve before we completely shoot him down. The problems took a long time to develop and it's going to take time to identify and implement solutions. In time, if things don't improve, I'll stand corrected. However, for now, I am pulling for the Governor and his administration to be successful. The people of the territory need him to succeed. Kim Japinga

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Posted : April 22, 2015 12:05 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

I truly admire your optimism but (and I'm not jumping on you) had you been here during "King" Schneider's reign with Mr Mapp as his Lieutenant Governor and King-in-Training, the double-speak and hyperbole would likely have a most familiar ring and elicit not any comfort in the leopard having miraculously changed his spots but that of, "oh crap, here we go again".

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Topic starter Posted : April 22, 2015 12:21 pm
IslandHops
(@IslandHops)
Trusted Member

I like the positive message of hope, but re-engineering in times of economic hardship does not often start with campaign promises for 1000 new government jobs.

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Posted : April 22, 2015 3:02 pm
KimJ
 KimJ
(@KimJ)
New Member

I will admit that I am cautiously optimistic. It's not that I haven't been disappointed in the past -- I worked for a member of Congress in DC in the early 1990s who was heavily involved in the congressional banking scandal (yes he lost his job & I lost mine as a result). I also wasn't here during Governor Schneider's terms, so I don't have that background. Having said that, I am still hopeful that Governor Mapp will move things in the right direction.

With respect to the 1000 new jobs, it does sound counter-intuitive. I don't know if some of those are going to be federally funded and I think he also spoke of eliminating jobs in areas where they may not be critically needed (Dept of Ed administrators) and add jobs in more critical places (police department). Whether those add up to 1,000, I don't know. I also think we've got to add jobs -- unemployment doesn't help anyone. Employment means people have money to pump into stores & restaurants, insurance to pay for medical care, and less stress on the territorial safety net, for example. While my preference would be to add private sector jobs, that will take time. I'd like to hear more about how the Governor intends to add those new jobs and what trade offs that's going to require.

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Posted : April 22, 2015 3:15 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

No governor can improve the lives of the people without increasing private sector jobs or business opportunities. Mapp says very little about how he's going to do that and until he brings new corporate businesses to the territory, I am not listening to his bs.

His current economic plan is to try to get his commissioners to get federal monies we did not yet because of a myriad of inadequacies, instead of courting new private sector businesses.

A good governor figures out a way to sell his location to attract businesses and visitors. From what I can see, Mapp can only sell to the people of the Virgin Islands.

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Posted : April 22, 2015 3:29 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
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I'd like to hear more about how the Governor intends to add those new jobs and what trade offs that's going to require.

No worries, he takes every opportunity to go on TV and radio to spread the mangled word and manages to lie with impunity even while being recorded for posterity. It's human nature to hear the hyperbole and glaze over the subsequent rebuttals from those he claims to have spoken to and he learned his lessons well at the foot of the throne. Like his mentor, he'll underestimate the voters and will be a one-term Governor but, in the meantime, can make a mess of damage in four years for someone else to try and clean up.

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Topic starter Posted : April 22, 2015 3:57 pm
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

Remember how he was going to send a team into Hovensa to inventory all the assets?

Never happened

Remember the DOD team that was going to come here and survey the Hovensa facility?

Never happened.

Remember the Disney group that were going to visit and give suggestions on improving out tourism product?

Never happened.

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Posted : April 22, 2015 5:47 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Indeed yep!

Funny how the "government officials" who were allegedly very interested in the possibility of the Hess site as a detention center to replace Gitmo disavowed knowledge of any discussions with him to that end; as Disney Cruise spokespeople disavowed any plans to consider STX as a homeport. One would laugh if it were a comic skit but not when it's reality. :-X

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Topic starter Posted : April 22, 2015 5:56 pm
JohnnyU
(@JohnnyU)
Advanced Member

I don't think the Melee could come up with a better political story

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Posted : April 22, 2015 6:24 pm
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

I miss the Island Melee!

It would be great if someone re-started an on line version.

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Posted : April 22, 2015 6:47 pm
C_Ray6
(@C_Ray6)
Advanced Member

I, as most of you know am just a newbie when it comes to VI politics. I did get really involved mostly through reading and watching things on the internet and a couple of visits during the last election cycle. I even made a donation to one candidate for Governor solely because I was inspired by her candidacy. Mr. Mapp seems amiable but I was highly disappointed in what transpired with the Attorney General's Office and his initial appointee abruptly resigning. If corruption is truly going to be cleaned up it has to be done by an independent minded AG. However, I am always willing to give those newly elected officials a chance an am mostly an optimist by nature. I will continue to keep informed as perhaps I will be eligible to vote in the next Governor's race.

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Posted : April 22, 2015 7:13 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

As reported by the Daily News:

"Billed as a call-in show for residents to ask questions, Mapp spoke extemporaneously for nearly 80 minutes about everything from his background, how he chooses commissioners to head departments, how the territory can better serve the mentally ill and how to create good jobs. He took questions from only about three or four callers."

Not much of a "call-in show" when he spends all the allotted time talking up a storm and leaves only a tiny amount of time to address less than a handful of callers.

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Topic starter Posted : April 23, 2015 9:35 am
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

It's also unfortunate that the callers asked about things covered in the media many times over.

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Posted : April 23, 2015 9:40 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

It's also unfortunate that the callers asked about things covered in the media many times over.

A sad reflection on the fact that a large segment of the population doesn't bother to read or listen to the news - although that's not something peculiar to the local population! 😀

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Topic starter Posted : April 23, 2015 10:18 am
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

I am waiting for the day when radio talk shows in VI shut down. People can listen for free instead of paying $1 for the newspaper and don't have to leave their homes. Radio talk shows spread misinformation and are not informative, IMO.

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Posted : April 23, 2015 10:38 am
Spartygrad95
(@Spartygrad95)
Trusted Member

I am waiting for the day when radio talk shows in VI shut down. People can listen for free instead of paying $1 for the newspaper and don't have to leave their homes. Radio talk shows spread misinformation and are not informative, IMO.

Almost as much as the Internet

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Posted : April 23, 2015 11:19 am
MissJustice
(@MissJustice)
Trusted Member

I agree with you guys. Mapp is not cleaning up his predecessor Prince DeJongh's screw ups fast enough. Jheezh! He's had a whole 3 months to deal with DeJongh's 150$ million dollar fiscal year shortfall.Off with Mapp's head then?

Things are really getting hard out here. Hey Tart, where do you get your food stamps?

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Posted : April 23, 2015 11:20 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Mapp = Monarch of Spin.

Although, to give credit where credit is due:
I recently spoke with Robert Malacarne of St. John Rescue and congratulated him on them finally getting the agreement in place to be able to transport dead bodies without having them incur liability issues.
He said that this time around, it was far easier to negotiate with those in charge than the last administration and that those he dealt with really cared. That's a nice positive.

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Posted : April 23, 2015 11:30 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Hey Tart, where do you get your food stamps?

Probably the same place where you get yours. 😀 You really do have a very convoluted mind and a vivid imagination to come up with this stuff.

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Topic starter Posted : April 23, 2015 11:51 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

cruzaniron, i was very fortunate to be able to read a few back editions of that paper. it truly was the best thing in print on these islands ever. i do wish it would come back too

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Posted : April 23, 2015 5:18 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

This will probably interest MissJustice (or not):

http://stthomassource.com/content/news/local-news/2015/04/26/dejongh-pays-more-200000-security-measures-his-home

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Topic starter Posted : April 26, 2015 10:32 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

One way to cut down on expenses is to only elect those running
for governor who live on St. Thomas and own their own homes! 😀
(Only kidding!)

However, this issue about where and how much gets spent to house a governor needs to be addressed and put to rest, once and for all.
I wonder if our Senators are up for the task?

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Posted : April 26, 2015 11:04 am
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