Adelbert Bryan chosen to lead St. Croix Elections Board


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ST. CROIX - The newly organized St. Croix District Board of Elections met in its first session, with Adelbert Bryan taking over the helm of the board as its new chairman.

The board's first order of business at its meeting Friday was executive positions, and the three newly-elected board members, Lilliana Belardo de O'neal, Glenn Webster and Roland Moolenaar, along with Bryan made swift motions to have changes in the leadership of the board.

Moolenaar moved to nominate Bryan to the chairmanship, and they all voted in favor of having Bryan as chairperson, while returning members Raymond Williams and Lisa Harris Moorhead, along with former chairman Rupert Ross Jr., had voted in favor of having Moorhead as the new chairperson.

The vote also was split the same way in favor of having Belardo de O'neal as vice chairwoman of the board. Webster received a unanimous vote for his appointment as secretary of the board.

Those starting new terms on the board were sworn in during a brief ceremony by V.I. Superior Court Judge Harold Willocks on Friday morning.

Moorhead is a previous member of the board who was re-elected; and newly elected members Belardo de O'neal, Moolenaar and Webster have replaced members Ana Davila, Carmen Golden and Dodson James, who have about 90 years of service on the board between them but did not run for re-election.

The seats for Ross, Williams and Bryan had not been up for grabs during the 2012 elections.

Each board member was given a chance to make brief remarks following the election of the new executive officers of the board.

Bryan said that as the chairman of the board he intends to continue addressing some of the concerns he has had about the Elections System, the election process and the board's operation.

High on his list of priorities will be looking into ensuring that the new voting machines are procured soon because he believes that nothing was stopping them from already being in place before the November 2012 election season, Bryan said.

He said he also is concerned about Supervisor of Election John Abramson's handling of the people who work under him.

"He checking Ms. Maduro, and he checking Mr. Weber, but who is checking the checker," he asked. "We need to have a closer look on how he is rated for his performance too, because he answers to the board."

Abramson intends to retire at the end of May.

Williams congratulated the newly elected members and said he takes his role seriously with his only intention to move the education and other initiatives forward.

"The previous board had been accused of all types of things on a personal level, but I want to make it clear that I never took this position to do anything other than serve the people of this community," he said.

Ross informed the board, that right now it is his intention to attend the meeting, but there is an outstanding financial obligation that the board has to attorney Scott McChain, who represented the board during the recall election lawsuit in District Court last year.

Moorhead said the money to pay the obligation has been approved by the Senate, but has not yet been released, so it should not be a difficult process to get it done.

The next board meeting is set for 9:30 a.m. Feb. 6.

- Contact Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email fstokes@dailynews.vi.

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