(V.I. Consortium) ST. CROIX — Governor Kenneth Mapp at a press conference held at Government House today revealed that his administration has been considering shutting government operations down one day every two weeks until September 30, to help keep the government afloat.
The announcement represents a dose of reality for the administration as it struggles to offset a $110 million budget deficit, and as the Government of the Virgin Islands remains shut out of the bond market that had for years bailed it out. And it comes at a time when the community has been furious about the governor’s spending habits, which some contend give little consideration to the plight of residents, many of whom are living paycheck to paycheck and must cutback when funds are low.
The announcement also represents an about-face for the governor, whose commissioner of Finance, Valdamier Collens, had revealed to The Consortium that such austerity measures were being drafted. Mr. Mapp, however, had denied that he’d ever mentioned furloughs, layoffs or four-day work weeks to Mr. Collens.