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Governor Gives a Snapshot of Executive Office Budget, Nominates a Commissioner and Releases More Social Security Stipends

Lisa Alejandro says she is “humbled and most honored” to be nominated commissioner of V.I. Property and Procurement by Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. (Facebook screenshot)

Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. announced he will submit a budget with $1.4 billion in expenditures to the V.I. Legislature and also nominated a commissioner of V.I. Property and Procurement, during the weekly press briefing Tuesday at Government House on St. Thomas.

The 2024-25 budget he forwarded to the Legislature Monday will include $969 million in General Fund spending, $334.9 million in federal funding, other expenditures of $84.3 million and $35.2 million in non-appropriated monies. An item in the budget includes $25 million in retroactive pay to retirees and to cover unpaid union wages, he added.

“We have had revenue growth every year of the Bryan-Roach administration and want to continue that in a responsible manner to make sure we are constantly contributing to the growth of the territory,” Bryan said.

Bryan then nominated Lisa Alejandro as the commissioner of Property and Procurement, adding to his cabinet’s “incredible talent.” Alejandro has served as acting commissioner since the resignation in February of Anthony Thomas. She has worked in many areas of the department for 27 years and pledged to continue working on behalf of the governor and people of the Virgin Islands.

“Over the course of my career, I have been fortunate to work in every aspect of property management and procurement. As a result, I have played an integral role in developing policies, proposing and writing legislation as well as building systems towards building greater efficiency of our government,” Alejandro said.

Alejandro is a certified Contracting Officer Representative, holds a master’s degree in Operations Management and remains an active member of the National Contract Management Association. As acting commissioner, she has functioned as the Chief Procurement Officer, responsible for managing and overseeing the territory’s Procurement, Central Stores and Warehousing, and Vendor Maintenance divisions through the Office of Procurement, Contract Management and Reporting.

The governor also talked about a land swap between the Government of the Virgin Islands and V.I. National Park on St. John that has been in the works for 50 years. He said he’s optimistic it will be finalized sometime in the summer. The federal land will be used to build a new pre-K to 12 school and a community center. The Virgin Islands hopes to exchange Whistling Cay, a 17.97 acre island for 11.3 acres of National Park Service land.

Bryan also announced disbursements of $500 Social Security stipends will pick up again for those who didn’t receive the initial funding. The Office of Management and Budget will once again distribute the funds. Applicants can log on to www.omb.vi.gov and click on “Customer Contact” and then the “Request Assistance” tab. The website is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. People who cannot access the internet should call the OMB office at 340-774-9759. Checks will be printed June 12.

Finally, the governor congratulated all graduates and said he will be out of the territory until the weekend.

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