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Senator Russell Continues to Push for Financial Management Board
Senator Ronald E. Russell commends Governor Charles W. Turnbull for putting forth cost cutting measures to address the growing fiscal crisis.
"The Governor has taken a step in the right direction, said Senator Russell. "However, both the Legislative and the Executive branches still need to institute further cost cutting measures such as the evaluation and elimination of most rental spaces used for government offices, revamping the government payroll, evaluation of government personnel productivity and efficiency of as well as other austerity measures," Senator Russell commented.
In regards to the Governors'' planned salary reduction for exempt workers, Senator Russell noted, "All agencies and departments should be reviewed and decisions made to reduce personnel. Salary reductions should be made for a more significant period of time, at least an entire fiscal year. At the end of the fiscal year an analysis of the budget can determine the effects of the cuts on the overall fiscal picture," said Senator Russell.
The Senator is concerned that the Governor rejects the concept of a local independent fiscal
management board. "Major changes need to be made in regards to the methods used by the Virgin Islands government in managing the financial operations,"stated Senator Russell.
A wise man once said, "Close scrutiny will show that most ""crisis situations"" are opportunities to either advance, or stay where you are," the Senator said. "The time is right to put in place a fiscal management board. I am co-sponsoring this legislation, which is being reviewed by the legislature's legal counsel. This bill would establish a board able to make independent assessments of government finances, contracts and other spending practices and temporarily reorganize the financial affairs of the government."
"I envision that the board will be an objective, impartial body which will not be afraid to take a hard look at our situation and make the difficult but necessary decisions which will alleviate the current situation", stated Senator Russell "Despite my difference of opinion with the Governor and even some of my Legislative colleges, I remain willing to work tirelessly to resolve this crisis," concluded Senator Russell.
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