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Nomination For Personnel Division, Zoning Map Amendments, Bills Move Forward

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Members of the 34th Legislature, led by Senate President Donna A. Frett-Gregory, convened in Legislative Session at the Capitol Building. Senators voted in the affirmative for a nominee, zonings map amendments, and several bills. All approved items will be forwarded to the Governor for further consideration.

Referring to the nomination of Cindy Richardson to become the Director of the Virgin Islands Division of Personnel, Senator Frett-Gregory stated that “Initially, my concerns and inquiries pertained to what were Richardson’s vision, goals, and the legacy she would leave behind. In response, Richardson outlined very effectively, strategies for each one.” 

Overall, policymakers concurred that Richardson has many years of experience and is professionally qualified to make a significant impact on the Virgin Islands. Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. sent the nomination to the Legislature of the Virgin Islands, set forth from Section (16) of the Revised Organic Act of 1954 and Title 3, Section 65a of the Virgin Islands Code. Ultimately, lawmakers voted favorably for the nomination. 

Lawmakers voted and approved the Zoning Map Amendments between the Government of the Virgin Islands (GVI) and the Antilles Gas Corporation, the Hearts in Service Association, freight forwarding services, a convenient store and deli, restaurants, and apartments. Additionally, policymakers considered bills regarding the option of a marital surname, applying the Hotel Room Tax to travel organizations that offer overnight accommodations, and protecting the tenure of the Assistant Attorney Generals. Lastly, senators voted on measures about school truancy, the Fiscal Year 2022 budget for the University of the Virgin Islands, and ratifying the agreement between GVI and the Medical Health Insurance. 

Ultimately, the following measures received a favorable recommendation: 

  • Bill No. 34-0169- An Act approving the Lease Agreement between the Government of the Virgin Islands, acting through the Commissioner of the Department of Property and Procurement and Antilles Gas Corporation for the leasing of Parcels Nos. 3 and 19 Submarine Base, No. 6 Southside Quarter, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. 
  • Bill No. 34-0172- An Act approving the Lease Agreement between the Government of the Virgin Islands, acting through the Commissioner of the Department of Property and Procurement and the Hearts in Service Association, Inc. for the leasing of Parcel No. 175C Estate Anna’s Retreat, No. 1 New Quarter, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. 
  • Bill No. 34-0177- An Act granting a use variance for Plot Nos. 167 and 168 Estate Clifton Hill, King Quarter, St. Croix from R-2 (Residential-Low Density-One and Two-Family) zoning designation requirements to allow for a for freight forwarding services business with restrictions.  All other requirements of the R-2 (Residential-Low Density-One and Two-Family) zoning designation will continue to apply to the property. 
  • Bill No. 34-0178- An Act granting a use variance for Plot No. 96 Estate Profit, King Quarter, St. Croix from R-4 (Residential-Medium Density) zoning designation requirements to allow for a convenience store and deli. All other requirements of the R-4 (Residential-Medium Density) zoning designation will continue to apply to the property. 
  • Bill No. 34-0179- An Act rezoning Parcel No. 22-H-1 Estate Enighed, No. 1 Cruz Bay Quarter, St. John be rezoned from R-2 (Residential-Low Density-One and Two Family) to B-3 (Business-Scattered). 
  • Bill No. 34-0180- An Act granting a use variance for Parcel No. 3-4 Estate Beverhoudtsberg, No. 7 Cruz Bay Quarter, St. John from R-1 (Residential-Low Density) zoning designation requirements to allow a restaurant and apartments. All other requirements of the R-1 (Residential-Low Density) zoning designation will continue to apply to the property. 
  • Bill No. 34-0181- An Act rezoning Parcel No. 11-16 Estate Contant, 7BA Southside Quarter, St. Thomas be rezoned from R-2 (Residential-Low Density-One and Two Family) to R-3 (Residential-Medium Density). 
  • Bill No. 34-0035- An Act repealing Title 16 Virgin Islands Code, chapter 1, subchapter III, section 61 requiring a wife to bear the surname of her husband.Bill No. 34-0070- An Act amending Title 33 Virgin Islands Code, subtitle 1, part I, chapter 3, section 54 relating to the remittance of the hotel room tax to the Government of the Virgin Islands to expand the definition of hotelkeeper or innkeeper for purposes of persons required to remit the hotel room taxes to the Government; adding a definition or “person”; to establish additional penalties for failure to remit room taxes timely; requiring the Director of the Virgin Islands Bureau of Internal Revenue, with the assistance of the Commissioner of Tourism, to commence making efforts to enter into an agreement for collection and remittance of the Hotel Room Tax by business entities deemed to be doing business in the Territory. 
  • Bill No. 34-0107- An Act amending Title 3 Virgin Islands Code, chapter 8, section 113, subsection (a) relating to the tenure of Assistant Attorneys General within the Virgin Islands Department of Justice to require that termination maybe only for cause and after notice and opportunity to be heard. 
  • Bill No. 34-0144- An Act amending Title 17 Virgin Islands Code, chapter 9, section 86 relating to school truancy to provide procedures for addressing unexcused absences from school and providing for related purposes. 
  • Bill No. 34-0173- An Act amending Act No. 8479 to adjust the Fiscal Year 2022 budget for the University of the Virgin Islands; and making an appropriation of $280,660 for employment tax on the restoration of 8% of salaries owed to the employees of the University of the Virgin Islands. 
  • Bill No. 34-0183- An Act ratifying and approving the Third Amendment to the Agreement for Medical Health Insurance between the Government of the Virgin Islands, through the GESC Health Insurance Board of Trustees, the University of the Virgin Islands, and the Virgin Islands Housing Authority, and UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company and its affiliates, dated January 1, 2022. 
  • Bill No. 34-0035- An Act repealing Title 16 Virgin Islands Code, chapter 1, subchapter III, section 61 requiring a wife to bear the surname of her husband. 
  • Bill No. 34-0070- An Act amending Title 33 Virgin Islands Code, subtitle 1, part I, chapter 3, section 54 relating to the remittance of the hotel room tax to the Government of the Virgin Islands to expand the definition of hotelkeeper or innkeeper for purposes of persons required to remit the hotel room taxes to the Government; adding a definition or “person”; to establish additional penalties for failure to remit room taxes timely; requiring the Director of the Virgin Islands Bureau of Internal Revenue, with the assistance of the Commissioner of Tourism, to commence making efforts to enter into an agreement for collection and remittance of the Hotel Room Tax by business entities deemed to be doing business in the Territory.  
  • Bill No. 34-0107-An Act amending Title 3 Virgin Islands Code, chapter 8, section 113, subsection (a) relating to the tenure of Assistant Attorneys General within the Virgin Islands Department of Justice to require that termination maybe only for cause and after notice and opportunity to be heard. 
  • Bill No. 34-0144- An Act amending Title 17 Virgin Islands Code, chapter 9, section 86 relating to school truancy to provide procedures for addressing unexcused absences from school and providing for related purposes.  
  • Bill No. 34-0173- An Act amending Act No. 8479 to adjust the Fiscal Year 2022 budget for the University of the Virgin Islands and making an appropriation of $280,660 for employment tax on the restoration of 8% of salaries owed to the employees of the University of the Virgin Islands. 
  • Bill No. 34-0183- An Act ratifying and approving the Third Amendment to the Agreement for Medical Health Insurance between the Government of the Virgin Islands, through the GESC Health Insurance Board of Trustees, the University of the Virgin Islands, and the Virgin Islands Housing Authority, and UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company and its affiliates, dated January 1, 2022. 
  • Bill No. 34-0185- A Resolution to impose sanctions against Senator Marvin A. Blyden for violating the Standards of Ethical Conduct of the Thirty-fourth Legislature of the Virgin Islands.  

However, senators removed from the agenda: Bill No. 34-0184- An Act amending Official Zoning Map No. SCZ-12 for the island of St. Croix to change the zoning designation of Plot Nos. 174 and 175 Estate Peter’s Rest, Queen Quarter, St. Croix, Virgin Islands from R-2 (Residential-Low Density-One and Two Family) to B-1 (Business-Central Business District). 

Senators attending today’s session: Donna A. Frett-Gregory, Novelle E. Francis, Jr., Genevieve R. Whitaker, Kurt A. Vialet, Franklin D. Johnson, Samuel Carrión, Carla J. Joseph, Marvin A. Blyden, Dwayne M. DeGraff, Kenneth L. Gittens, Alma Francis Heyliger, Milton E. Potter, Janelle K. Sarauw. 

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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