Senate President Neville James said Thursday in a statement released from his office that he has received a list of revised nominations to the Board of Governors of the Virgin Islands Port Authority from Governor Kenneth Mapp.
On Feb., 17, Mapp submitted to the Legislature for its advice and consent the nominations of Shirlene W. Taylor, Hugh Pemberton, and Michael Watson to serve on the board; however, after an assessment, Sen. James said he discovered three of the nominations were in direct conflict with sections of V.I.C Title 29. Due to the error, James wrote to the governor and asked him to withdraw the submissions.
On March 10, Governor Mapp submitted the name of Shaquan J. Hill and resubmitted Taylor to serve on the Port Authority board. Hill will serve for the district of St. John and Taylor will represent St. Croix.
Upon a preliminary review of the submissions, as well as background information and resumes included in the governor’s package, James said they both fall in line with legally viable submissions.
“As I stated last month regarding this issue, my letter to Governor Mapp asking him to withdraw the nominees were not meant as a slight, it was merely addressing a situation that would have made it extremely difficult for the Legislature to utilize their advice and consent powers during the vetting process,” James said. “I have a responsibility to my members and, more importantly, to the people of the Virgin Islands in making sure that everything that passes through this body stands the test of legal muster. The Governor understood that and I thank him and his staff for providing us these new submissions.”
He continued: “There’s a lot of work to do with respect to the Port Authority Board and I’m pleased that we can now move forward in making sure it is constituted with responsible and legally eligible members.”