Governor Kenneth Mapp and Lt. Governor Osbert Potter.
CRUZ BAY — The Post-Inaugural Program in Franklin Powell Sr. Park Wednesday, January 7, was a day of celebration, representation and anticipation for progress on St. John.
The program was led by master of ceremony Joey Dean Skelton, who effortlessly maintained the flow of the event. Attendees were regaled with song selections from the Gifft Hill School Choir, the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School Harmonic Rays, and from Ms. Alesha Turnbull.
Following the introduction of the platform guests, the audience was captivated by the Unity Praise Dancers who performed a liturgical dance. The event also contained poem recitations from Eudora Kean students including Jahmari Boynes.
“To Work for Entire Virgin Islands”
Lieutenant Governor Osbert E. Potter made key points about unity, compassion, and improving communication in his address. Potter emphasized the fact that he and Governor Mapp were “here to work for the entire Virgin Islands.”
Lt. Gov. Potter made it clear St. John issues would be resolved, and the island would not be treated as less important because of its small size. To ensure St. John issues get the proper attention they need, Potter pledged he and Governor Mapp would make frequent trips to St. John.
The Lieutenant Governor vowed to “speak with St. John directly, rather than through second or third parties.” He described how they were already listening to the complaints of the locals about the infrastructure and assured the attendees that they would begin fixing the roads and improving the efficiency of commuting between Coral Bay and Cruz Bay, and St. John and St. Thomas.
Lt. Gov. Potter also announced his intention to purchase a home on St. John — and to resume the senior citizen program.
“Empathetic and Compassionate”
“Our administration is marked by being empathetic and compassionate,” Governor Kenneth E. Mapp proclaimed.
Gov. Mapp professed his sympathy for the St. Johnian students who are forced to commute to St. Thomas each day for school and indicated that he was in the process of looking into the construction of a new school on St. John.
The Governor reiterated his campaign position that the use of National Park Service land would not be necessary, and that there are plenty of locations on the island from which to choose.
Gov. Mapp expressed that he wants to ensure all students are properly exposed to art, music, and activities that involve physical education.
The Governor promised to resolve issues “internally and legally” in the taxi driver and car rental industries and to help businesses adjust to an expanding economy, rather than help the economy expand. He also promised to assist the “betterment of the quality of life for all people in the territory who are willing to work.”
Gov. Mapp beseeched the audience to have faith, but be willing to work when opportunities arise. The Governor clarified he would treat all Virgin Islanders fairly, whether they voted for him or not and would not be distributing random jobs to people just because they supported him and instead “align skills with what needs to be accomplished.”
Gov. Mapp concluded his speech by encouraging the young people to “seize the moment.”
“God bless the United States, and the United States Virgin Islands,” Gov. Mapp proclaimed.