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ST. THOMAS — Lawmakers who make up the Committee on Rules and Judiciary, chaired by Senator Novelle Francis, on Friday voted favorably for three nominees chosen by Governor Mapp.
Elizabeth Armstrong from St. Croix (seen in the picture above), owner of The Buccaneer Hotel and current chairwoman of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority Board of Directors, was renominated by the governor and approved by the committee on Friday. Another WAPA board member, Hubert Turunbull from St. Thomas, was also renominated by the governor and approved by the Committee on Rules and Judiciary. Mr. Turnbull is the manager and director of TMT Sand Company.
And Stacey A. Bourne, chosen by Mr. Mapp to serve on the Casino Control Commission, won the committee’s approval as well. According to Ms. Bourne’s website The Bourne Group, LLC, Ms. Bourne, “originally from St. Louis, Missouri, has been a U.S. Virgin Islands resident since June 1990. She holds a bachelor of architecture, master of architecture and master of architecture and rrban design degrees from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana and Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. After acquiring her license from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards in 1994, she opened her own architectural firm, Innovations by Design. She subsequently attained and maintains licenses to practice architecture in Georgia in 2000 and Missouri in 2005.”
The nominations will be forwarded to the full body for final consideration.
Earlier this week, the nomination of Nelson Petty, who was lauded by senators for his work as the acting commissioner of the Dept. of Public Works, was forwarded to the full body. The nomination of Julio Rhymer, former CEO and executive director of WAPA, was held for further consideration, with senators questioning his performance as head of WAPA, as well as his alleged role in a certain “culture” at WAPA.
Just before his tenure at the utility came to an end, there was a letter circulating on social media — which was also sent to senators — said to be from WAPA employees that had called for the WAPA board to remove Mr. Rhymer for a myriad of reasons, among them favoritism, brash treatment of employees and an exodus of top WAPA employees who had left or were leaving the company, the letter suggested, because of Mr. Rhymer.
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