July 31, 2003 – All four government board nominees considered by the Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday were approved unanimously after little discussion.
The nominations require final approval by the full Senate.
Meeting on St. Croix, the committee gave a thumbs-up to:
– Maj. Aubrey L. Ruan Jr. to serve on the V.I. Military Museum and Veterans Memorial Complex board.
– Alphonso Franklin to serve another term on the Water and Power Authority governing board.
– Mel Plaskett to serve on the Board of Tax Review.
– James I. Rodgers to serve on the Port Authority board of governors.
Sen. Roosevelt David, the committee chair, told Ruan that the number of reference letters submitted on his behalf demonstrated confidence in his ability to be an effective member of the military board, according to a Legislature release.
Ruan told the senators that he believes more should be done for local veterans and that the plan to establish a memorial is a step in the right direction.
Franklin outlined WAPA fiscal initiatives "that are on the way," the release stated. He also said "there have been marked improvements" in the utility's financial picture.
In response to comments from Sens. David, Louis Hill and Carlton Dowe about St. Thomas WAPA concerns, Franklin said he would "inform the executive director about the different problems and there should [be] some redress," the release stated.
Sens. Usie Richards and Ronald Russell asked what is being done about non-customers who tap illegally into WAPA electrical power. Franklin said an investigation is under way and that WAPA intends to prosecute those found to be engaging in such practices.
No details were provided concerning the committee's consideration of Plaskett and Rodgers.
Committee members present for the hearing were Sens. David, Douglas Canton Jr., Dowe, Hill and Russell. Absent were Sens. Lorraine Berry and David Jones. Richards, who also was present, is not a member of the committee.
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