Op-ed: Plaskett Sends Letter to FEMA Opposing Changes by the Joint Recovery Office

Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett speaks Tuesday at a news conference.
Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett speaks Tuesday at a news conference.

Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett (USVI) released the following statement regarding a letter she sent to FEMA Administrator Gaynor expressing her opposition to the recent change to the reporting structure for the Joint Recovery Office of the Virgin Islands (JRO-USVI):

“Today I sent a letterfile:  ///C:/Users/mmcquerry2/Documents/FEMA%20letter%2008.15.2019.pdf to FEMA Administrator Gaynor expressing my opposition to the reporting structure for the Joint Recovery Office of the Virgin Islands. Communication is always important when dealing with issues such as the recovery of the Virgin Islands from two major hurricanes. FEMA selected Jacqueline J. Heyliger to serve as the first U. S. Virgin Islands Recovery Director for FEMA Region II, Caribbean Area Division (CAD). Director Heyliger will oversee more than $8 billion in disaster recovery assistance with staff throughout the territory.

“The JRO-USVI, the government of the Virgin Islands and my Congressional office were never engaged when changes in the reporting structure were made. Decisions like that are crucial to the ongoing rebuilding efforts for the Virgin Islands. I have requested a meeting with the FEMA Administrator regarding this matter.

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“FEMA’s mission is to support people before, during, and after disasters. Given the enormous and complex issues facing Puerto Rico, placing the Virgin Islands within Puerto Rico’s reporting structure could prove to be problematic to the most timely, successful completion of our recovery plans.”

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