Deputy elections supervisors file complaint about wages

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ST. THOMAS - The St. Thomas-St. John District Board of Elections met Monday to discuss several personnel matters facing the board.

The majority of the meeting was done in executive session, out of the public's eye. Under the territory's open meetings law, personnel matters where an individual's private information may be disclosed are exempt from public discussion.

Board chairman Arturo Watlington Jr. announced that long-time administrative assistant to the board Sharon Benjamin is resigning. Her last day is Friday.

After executive session, Watlington reported that the board discussed the process for filling her position and a potential salary for the position.

The job will be advertised at a later date, he said.

The board also discussed a salary issue the deputy supervisors of elections have brought to the board's attention.

Watlington said the two deputy supervisors - Nefrediezha Barbel on St. Thomas and Genevieve Whitaker on St. Croix - have brought a complaint to the board stating that the salaries they were promised by the board do not match the salaries they are receiving.

Alecia Wells, in her capacity as Joint Board of Elections chairwoman, appointed Lilliana Belardo de O'Neal from the St. Croix District Board and Claudette Georges from the St. Thomas-St. John District Board to serve on a two-member committee to investigate the matter. Currently, the Joint Board of Elections hires the supervisor and the deputies directly.

Sen. Nereida Rivera-O'Reilly has pending legislation to give the supervisor of Elections the authority to hire the deputy supervisors, but that bill is still in the committee process.

Board members Lawrence Boschulte, Harry Daniel, Georges, Wilma Marsh-Monsanto and Watlington were present at Monday's meeting. Wells participated by phone.

- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email

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