Details Remain Sketchy on Reported St. John Planner Hire

Making good on a campaign promise he pledged while running for office more than three years ago, Governor John deJongh announced the hiring of a St. John planner during his State of the Territory address on Monday night, January 25.

“Also, with respect to our continuing efforts to improve the quality of planning and land use regulation, I am pleased to announce that after several false starts, we have hired a principal planner for St. John, who will be starting work next month,” deJongh said during his speech.

Despite the announcement, officials with the Department of Planning and Natural Resources — under which the new planner will be employed directly — remained tight lipped about the hiring last week, sharing only a few details.

“I can tell you that a candidate for the position has been selected,” said DPNR Commissioner Robert Mathes. “He’s young — in his 30s — single, from North Carolina, is very familiar with the V.I. as a multi-visit tourist, is very personable and otherwise qualified for the position.”

“I’m hesitant to release a name until after he arrives in the territory — tentatively scheduled for mid-February,” Mathes said.

When the mysterious North Carolina man surfaces, he will be working under DPNR’s planning office and director Marjorie Emmanuel.

The base pay is $75,000, according to officials.