Penn to serve as Legislature's executive director until February
Published: January 17, 2013
Font size: [A] [A] [A]
ST. THOMAS - In one of his first moves after officially taking the helm of the 30th Legislature, Senate President Shawn-Michael Malone appointed Ava Penn as acting executive director until Feb. 4.
Penn, who served as acting Director of Business and Financial Management in the 29th Legislature and has continued in that role so far in the 30th Legislature, was tapped to temporarily add the executive director duties to her business office role as of Wednesday, according to a memo from Malone.
She will continue in that role until Iver Stridiron, who Malone previously announced would take over the executive director post, officially starts on Feb. 4.
According to the memo, Stridiron's brother passed away on the mainland, and he has to leave island to attend the funeral service.
Toward the end of the 29th Legislature, Penn instituted a series of cost-cutting measures, including restricting the amount of money the Legislature would spend on gas, cell phones and inter-island travel.
Penn also issued stern warnings to senators in late 2012 to curb their spending to keep the Legislature budget in the black.
At a session in November, senators unanimously approved an amendment - tacked onto an unrelated bill - to give themselves $850,000 to cover a budget shortfall for the 29th Legislature and ensure the 30th Legislature had funds to begin its term.
Gov. John deJongh Jr. line-item vetoed the expenditure, leaving the 30th Legislature in a financial position that remains unclear.
The Legislature set its Fiscal Year 2013 budget ceiling at $17.8 million compared with $19.8 million last fiscal year.
Malone did not return calls for comment Wednesday.