- Written by Tom Oat
Governor-elect Kenneth Mapp, center right in left photo, meets with supporters Camille Paris, center left, Janice Paris, right, and Frankie Johnson, left, during an afternoon cocktail hour at Waterfront Bistro on Saturday, November 22.
CRUZ BAY — A recall of the 2013 St. John property tax bills, a new St. John public school without a land swap with the federal government, a permit revocation and reconsideration of the size of the Coral Bay marina project – Governor-elect Kenneth E. Mapp is on top of St. John issues and his administration will be ready to act when it takes office in January.
While demurring on specific policy decisions, Governor-elect Mapp was succinct in outlining his plans for the smallest U.S. Virgin Island, starting with his campaign promise to redo the property revaluation that threatens native property owners.
“I am going to recall them (the tax bills),” Gov.-elect Mapp said of the 2013 property tax bills that shocked St. John taxpayers, especially native landowners. “I don’t believe they are accurate.”
It was impossible for the revaluation to be accurate “in the current economic climate,” he explained.
Private Site for New Island Public School
The governor-elect will also be taking a very different look at the stalled de Jongh Administtraton plans for a new St. John public school. A National Park Service-owned Centerline Road property in Catherineberg has been proposed as the site for the Kindergarten through Grade 12 school planned to replace the Julius E. Sprauve School in Cruz Bay and the shuttered Guy H. Benjamin School in Coral Bay.
“I don’t intend to spend a lot of time going back and forth with the federal government,” Gov.-elect Mapp told St. John Tradewinds in reference to the extended delay from protracted negotiations with the National Park Service to swap V.I. National Park property for V.I. government property the NPS covets.
“We have publicly said we will seek to acquire private land outside of the NPS,” Governor-elect Mapp said.
“The schools and the roads are part of our plan for moving the construction industry,” Mapp pointed out. “How do we move more dollars into the economy to jump start the economy?”