When I first arrived in these islands, I was struck by the sheer natural beauty, engaging people and the peace and tranquility that have given these islands the name of Nature’s Little Secrets. While the Virgin Islands are of course well known in business, international finance and tourism across the world, what struck me also were the stories of how people felt safe here; and how important that is. A sense of calm and safety to walk in the early and late mornings, have family outings and some who even slept with windows and doors ajar to take in natural breezes.
The security of the territory is a critical part of its recovery and is something I take very seriously. I am in regular contact with the Commissioner of Police on security matters and this week convened a meeting of all of the agencies involved in this area.
My fellow residents of the Virgin Islands, we have just passed the five month marker of the catastrophic hurricanes Irma and Maria and I thought it important that we update ourselves as to where we are with our recovery process and offer hope and encouragement for a stronger, more resilient and brighter future. I also take this opportunity to clear the air on significant misinformation about the role of your Government during this challenging period.
Public Officers, ladies and gentlemen, you recently received communication from the Deputy Governor about an exciting opportunity we have to shape the future of the Public Service. Allow me a few minutes of your time to briefly speak to you about this opportunity and why your input into the future of the Public Service is critical at this time.
As with so many areas in our Territory, Hurricanes Irma and Maria had a significant impact on the judicial system of the Virgin Islands, leaving all of the key properties required for the effective functioning of the system extensively damaged.
Good afternoon. Thank you all for coming and thank you Premier for your statement. I wholeheartedly welcome your announcement on the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA) and applaud the leadership you and your Cabinet have shown in establishing it. I would also like to join the Premier in his thanks to Dr. Mathavious for agreeing to be Chairman of the Board.
Shortly after Hurricane Irma affected the Territory, a Disaster Recovery Coordinating Committee (DRCC) was established to provide oversight and advice on all aspects of the Territory's recovery activities and initiatives following the unprecedented trio of disaster events - floods of August and hurricanes Maria and Irma in September.