St. Croix Board of Elections adds meeting, discusses swearing-in ceremonies

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ST. CROIX - Members of the St. Croix Board of Elections discussed end-of-term business at their meeting Thursday morning.

Thursday's meeting originally was slated to be the last meeting of the current board before new members are sworn in Jan. 11, but the board passed a motion to have one additional meeting.

After coming out of an executive session that was called to discuss personnel matters, the board voted to call a special board meeting to further discuss personnel matters.

A date has not yet been set for that meeting.

During its regular meeting, the board discussed the swearing-in of board members elected in November.

Chairman Rupert Ross Jr. said the swearing-in is scheduled for 10 a.m. Jan. 11 before Judge Harold Willocks at V.I. Superior Court. Those starting new terms on the St. Croix District board are Lisa Moorhead, a current member of the board who was re-elected; and newly elected members Lilliana Belardo de O'Neal, Roland Moolenaar and Glenn Webster. Belardo de O'Neal, Moolenaar and Webster will be replacing members Ana Davila, Carmen Golden and Dodson James, who did not run for re-election.

Other current board members who will be part of the new board are Ross, Raymond Williams and Adelbert Bryan. Their seats were not up for grabs during the 2012 elections.

Newly elected St. Thomas board members will be sworn in the same day in Superior Court on St. Thomas, Ross said.

Immediately after the swearing-in on Jan. 11, the new St. Croix District board will meet at the Elections office to elect new officers, Ross said.

Five board members also voted on Thursday to voluntarily donate the stipends they would receive for Thursday's meeting to pay for an awards and recognition luncheon for Elections staff, which will follow the election of officers for the new board on Jan. 11.

Davila, Golden, Moorhead, Ross and Williams voted for the measure. James was absent, and Bryan voted no.

In other action, the board voted to recommend that the incoming board look into obtaining liability insurance. Board members said that such insurance likely would have covered legal expenses the board incurred during a recall lawsuit in 2012.

In other discussion at the meeting, the board talked about an audit of the 2012 General Election requested in a bill sponsored by Sen. Nereida Rivera-O'Reilly; the proper way to serve notice of a lawsuit to board members; and the closing of the St. Thomas Elections System office for a move.

Ross said that the Department of Property and Procurement had put out a request for proposals for the audit but had not gotten any responses. The department asked the board about any professional organizations with experience in auditing elections that might be able to help, Ross said.

During the discussion about the proper way to serve board members with a lawsuit, Moorhead, who is an attorney, spoke about the rules for proper service of summonses for lawsuits.

She contended that from what she saw, the board was not properly served with notice of a recent lawsuit.

Bryan, noting that the board is represented by the V.I. Attorney General's Office, suggested getting an opinion from the attorney general on the matter.

The board also briefly discussed the closing of the St. Thomas Elections Office for a month, until Jan. 27, to accomplish a move. Ross, who also is chairman of the Joint Board of Elections, said he would try to persuade Deputy Elections Supervisor Mabel Maduro to shorten the time the office will be closed for the move.

- Contact Joy Blackburn at 714-9145 or email

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