Oct. 1, 2008 – Media and Readers: WMA's monthly utility bill averages $200,000 (more than $2.0M per year) and we pay 99% of our bills on time every month. On September 2, WMA had a balance of $6,285. The small balance was paid by WMA. The balance sheet was provided to the media. When these outstanding balances are requested from WAPA, it is only valid on that day. It should not be relied on because payments are received every day. On September 15, WAPA, indeed, provided information, which was forwarded to OMB that WMA was current.
As an autonomous agency, WMA has funds allocated to cover our utility bills in the budget. We currently have funds remaining in our accounts to pay our utility bills and did not seek additional funds for this purpose. We advised OMB office that this was the case last month when they made this statement before the Legislature. The amount in the $17.5M paid which the central government double paid for WMA was $6,285. By contrast, central government and other autonomous agencies outstanding bills range from $1.2 -5.1M.
It is unfortunate that when WMA is singled out as having outstanding balances and in association with the hospitals, WMA receives a black eye, once again, one we can ill afford and is actually a disservice to the men and women of the Authority. WMA management and staff are simply trying to set the record straight but the printed media has not been fair or in our favor.
Today's Daily News page 3 report "Setting the Record Straight" still leaves the readers with the impression that WMA hurried to pay our bills to be able to state that we did not owe WAPA yet another black eye. No mention of the amount outstanding and paid by WMA, particularly, in contrast to the two hospitals so one could only guess that it could be in the millions of dollars. It did not even use the information provided in my press release yesterday.
I am hoping for more fairness from all concerned. The working men and women of the WMA do not deserve more negative criticism when they are doing a great job whether you acknowledge that or not. What do we have to do to get a fair shot?
P.S. WMA Family I do apologize for the fact that management was unable to avert this negative publicity. I thank you for your understanding and ask you for your continued faith and support in the management of WMA.
Editor's note: May Adams Cornwall is the executive director of Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority (VIWMA).
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