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Cruz Bay
Wednesday, September 28, 2022


Gov. Charles W. Turnbull sent absolutely the right message about the territory's dire fiscal condition with his decision Friday giving government workers time off for Carnival activities.
Turnbull granted a day and a half of administrative leave — a half-day for Food Fair on Wednesday and the usual full day Friday for the Children's Parade. Workers are expected to report to work at 8 a.m. Wednesday before Food Fair and at 8 a.m. Thursday after J'ouvert.
In contrast, former Gov. Roy L. Schneider last year gave government employees three full days off — all day Wednesday for the Food Fair, all day Thursday after J'ouvert and Friday for the Children's Parade.
It is perhaps not a coincidence that last year was an election year, but the territory's fiscal condition was as bad then as it is now. Yet, little to nothing was done to cut costs. We got lip service about the need to reduce expenses. That was it.
Some may protest that Turnbull's actions show a lack of support for Carnival. Certainly the decision will be politically unpopular, as was evident at Saturday night's Calypso Tent and on some radio talk shows. But in light of the recent payless payday — and the decision to borrow money again to make sure that doesn't recur — it was the proper thing to do.
We must begin to tighten our belts in every way, large and small. This may entail some pain for all of us, but there's no choice. When we are in danger of not meeting payroll, it is incumbent upon every branch of government and every agency to cut every possible expense, whether $10, $1,000, $10,000 or $10 million. Unfortunately, that includes costly administrative days off for Carnival.

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