Watch: Conversations With the Governor, Part 2

The Source was able to sit down with Gov. Albert Bryan, Jr. to talk about his first six months in office, and some of the more critical issues facing his administration.

In the second part of our video series, the governor speaks about the importance of creating a competitive and sustainable Virgin Islands that offers everything from more creative taxi options to sustainable housing.

Delving into privacy issues with V.I. boards and commissions – specifically the West Indian Co., Ltd – Bryan said that while transparency is key, there are entities like WICO that still have to keep parts of their operations and plans away from the public.

“As much as possible, transparency is the way to go,” Bryan said. “There are certain things, though, that if disclosed, gives entities such as WICO a disadvantage in terms of remaining competitive and raising capital, and that’s something we have to be mindful of, especially in a tourism based economy.”

Bryan added that when visitors come to the territory, it is the government’s responsibility to “meet them where they’re at.” That also includes, he said, offering a more creative range of taxi options, including water transportation and maybe even one day, Uber.

“Instead of fighting against change, we have to think about we can do to change our game, our paradigm,” the governor said. “That’s how we remain competitive.”

Bringing more wealth into the territory is another critical step, Bryan said. Right now, the Virgin Islands has a 30 percent poverty rate, which is among the highest in the nation. Talking about is 20-year vision for building a more robust and sustainable economy, Bryan said that fixing this problem can have a ripple effect on many other areas.

Stay tuned for more from our conversation with the governor.