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Saturday, June 22, 2024


Sept. 25, 2001 – After his bill to create a Virgin Islands Sustainable Economic Development Commission was voted down Tuesday afternoon, Sen. Adelbert Bryan decided he couldn't sustain his two executive positions in the 24th Legislature.
Following the measure's defeat, Bryan announced, "I would have thought that I had some trust and some respect and some commitment from this body … This has made it very clear to my conscience that this body needs to find a new vice president. I'm not willing to play games with no intellectual masturbation with nobody."
Bryan, who did not attend Monday's full Senate session dealing with the Fiscal Year 2002 budget bills, frequently sparred with his colleagues Tuesday.
His bill was to create a commission that he would head and that would also include one other senator of his choosing, the chair of the Economic Development Authority board, and two individuals from the private sector who participated in Bryan's 2001 Economic Development Summit in July.
Bryan said such a commission was necessary to address the territory's economic condition after the terrorist attacks on the mainland. The panel's purpose, he said, would be to prepare a final draft of an economic, social and political plan that would be submitted to the Legislature and then to the governor, after which it would be implemented "immediately." It would outline all areas necessary to diversify the V.I. economy completely, he said.
The plan called for the creation of a Virgin Islands Capital Market and would spell out "the ABC's for bringing a halt to the financial hemorrhaging in the V.I." With funding of $650,000 from the General Fund for FY 2002, the commission was to have engaged "the professional services of consultants and experts to assist the Committee on Economic Development, Agriculture and Consumer Protection," which Bryan chairs.
The bill lost by one vote, 5-6, and the votes crossed majority/minority lines. Voting for the measure were Sens. Bryan, Almando "Rocky" Liburd, Donald "Ducks" Cole, Emmett Hansen II and Vargrave Richards. Voting against were Sens. Lorraine Berry, Roosevelt David, Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg, Carlton Dowe, Alicia "Chucky" Hansen and David Jones.
Later in the day, interrupting a motion David had on the floor to name the Coral Bay fire station on St. John in honor of the late Hugo Otis Liburd, Bryan launched another tirade.
"Mr. President," he said, "I'd like legal counsel to listen, because I expect them to draft a resolution. I'm serious. I don't wish to chair the Committee on Economic Development, Agriculture and Consumer Protection as of today. And, as of today, I don't wish to hold the office of vice president [of the 24th Legislature]. I want to be clear."
He continued, "You all know what I'm speaking about. If you don't understand, I'm not going to explain it — I've owed explanations to about seven people in my life, and none of them is in this body … We've been intellectually dishonest, people scrambling in the streets for health care and education. I'm not going to be a participant in my children's future destruction."
He concluded, "Everybody is worried about $650,000 going to the Legislature. These things cause lives to be lost, and friends and respect to be lost. Now I know who I can respect and trust."
Liburd returned Senate attention to the resolution on the floor and took a moment to thank David and to say a few words about his father, for whom the resolution was written.

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