Board of Elections names 2 new deputies
Published: October 4, 2013
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ST. CROIX - The Joint Board of Elections met Thursday on St. Croix and voted to name two individuals to the deputy positions in each district that had been vacant since March.
Following an executive session during which they discussed the personnel matters, the board move to accept the recommendations of Elections Supervisor Caroline Fawkes that Genevieve Whitaker be named the deputy supervisor on St. Croix and Nefrediezha Barbel be named the deputy supervisor for the St. Thomas-St. John District.
Board members present at Thursday's meeting - Claudette Georges, Wilma Marsh-Monsanto, Lydia Hendricks, Harry Daniels, Alicia Wells, Lilliana Belardo De O'neal, Arturo Watlington Jr., Glenn Webster, Roland Moolenaar, Adelbert Bryan, Rupert Ross Jr. and Raymond Williams - unanimously approved the recommendations for Whitaker, and they all voted in favor of Barbel except for Ross, who abstained from voting on her approval.
Voting on a motion brought forth by Bryan, the board approved to have the appointment date of both women as Thursday for all purposes.
Bryan made another motion that was approved by the board - voted against only by Wells and Watlington - saying that once a meeting is scheduled, it cannot be canceled for lack of a quorum unless the meeting had already been called into session.
Bryan said that in too many instances, members from the St. Croix board had been ready to travel for meetings on St. Thomas that had been previously scheduled, only to be told at the last minute that it was canceled for lack of a quorum.
Wells said it would be wasteful if it is realized that a quorum would not be established and not cancel the meeting, before the plane tickets had been used.
Watlington said he thought the motion was improper and should not be considered by the board.
Bryan said he was concerned that when meetings are canceled under the guise of no quorum, the public has no knowledge of who is repeatedly not wanting to come to meetings.
"I don't want to be lumped in. Find another reason and state who isn't coming," he said.
Williams, Moolenaar and Webster left Thursday's meeting about halfway through discussions.
The remaining board members discussed a need to work with legislators to reorganize the 2014 election calendar saying that dates are going to have to change, but they will defer action on any changes until they are able to meet with senators.
Watlington said the board's No. 1 concern in structuring the new election calendar should be in ensuring that the common filing date is 75 days before the primary election.
In her supervisor's report, Fawkes said she submitted the response to the audit to the Inspector General on Sept. 30, but still cannot discuss anything that was contained in the audit draft or response.
Per her recommendation, the board agreed to have two signatures attached to any of its financial accounts, saying former Elections Supervisor John Abramson Jr. was the only signatory on any accounts to date.
She discussed a need for 18 new computers for the system, saying the current machines are outdated and constantly crashing. She also discussed plans to purchase a video teleconferencing system for each district.
Fawkes said there is a small mold issue in the St. Croix office that is being taken care of and plans are in the works for the expansion of the St. Croix office to come into compliance with the America with Disabilities Act.
The board began discussion of a motion by Bryan to allow the joint board to hold meetings and votes via video conferencing, but Georges said policy had to be established first and said a resolution will be drafted for the next meeting, which has not yet been scheduled.
Board members Lisa Harris Moorhead and Lawrence Boschulte were absent from Thursday's meeting.
- Contact Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email email@example.com.