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Cruz Bay
Sunday, March 3, 2024


To the Source,
Opponents of Delegate Donna M. Christensen's proposal to create a chief financial officer and a financial management system for the territory have said that it would represent a return to colonialism. Such fears have generated a resolution of condemnation from the V.I. Legislature and a resolution of non-support from the Territorial Committee of the Democratic Party.
Here are three reasons why creating a CFO and instituting a transparent financial management system do not represent a return to colonialism:
– While the bill provides for federal involvement, it does not provide for federal control. The chief financial officer may be someone from the territory as long as the individual has the qualifications and the integrity to do the job.
– Self-governing entities such as states, cities, municipalities and the federal government itself have seen fit to utilize chief financial officers in order to manage their financial affairs properly.
– Financial accountability is a sign of political maturity. It will be easier for the Virgin Islands to move forward on progressive initiatives and even ensure that basic public services such as schools, sewer system repairs and landfill replacement are met if a transparent financial management system is in place.
There is no going backward here, only an honest attempt to steady a faltering ship and ready it for this most challenging century. Virgin Islanders have never let fear dictate their actions. Let's move forward with confidence for the future.
Monique Clendinen Watson
Chief of staff, Office of the Delegate to Congress
Washington, D.C.

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