HOA made a big mistake not adopting my suggestions — Malone
Territorial At-Large Representative Carvin Malone has argued that legislators may have done some grave damage by not adopting his suggestions made months ago as part of the terms of reference for the ongoing constitutional review process.
Malone had moved a resolution in parliament to have legislators adopt additional terms for the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) that included, among other things, a determination on how the Premier of the BVI should be chosen. However, his resolution was a flop.
“I think we did ourselves an injustice because the same thing I feared is what is happening,” Malone said. “We had an opportunity to put 10 measures in the main terms so that when the constitution body goes and speaks, they could enlist all of what we need to look at in the constitution.”
In rejecting Malone’s proposal at the time, lawmakers told Malone he can offer up his suggestions directly to the CRC.
Residents need greater control over elected leaders
According to the first-term legislator, if legislators are going to get residents or voters to care about the territory and to have confidence in local governance, provisions have to be made in the constitution that give them (the public) a sense of control over elected representatives.
“I don’t know all of the answers, but there are some debate that must go on — referendums, recalls, term limits,” Malone shared.
Malone said if the measures he proposed are not adopted by the CRC, then persons will continue to say that the the territory isn’t ‘ready’, despite its nearly 50 years of partial self-governance.
He further argued that the territory has a budget of over four hundred million dollars each year, adding that no one has been assisting the territory with grants.
Malone said the BVI has built its own airports, seaports, hospitals and other infrastructure, yet it is still not considered ready for independence.
“We’re the only persons believe that we ain’t ready because every time we go for assistance for anything, they tell us, ‘you have too much money, you’re doing too much‘,” he argued.
“The only thing lacking is that confidence in governance of our people, by our people,” Malone added.