Home News Local news RULES COMMITTEE PASSES NOMINEES TO LEGISLATURE

RULES COMMITTEE PASSES NOMINEES TO LEGISLATURE

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The Senate Rules Committee approved the nomination of Keithley R. Joseph as executive director of the Public Services Commission on Wednesday and sent his name to the full Legislature along with those of four nominees for the V.I. Hospital & Health Facilities Governing Board.
Natalie A. Thomas, Samuel W. Topp, Beverly Chongasing and Horace T. Brooks were approved to sit on the Hospitals Governing Board from the St. Thomas-St. John district. The Rev. Lester A. White was approved for the St. Croix district. They now must be confirmed by the full Senate
In his testimony Joseph said his goals for the PSC would include shortening complaint-resolution time, establishing a consumer's Bill of Rights and working with other agencies, including Licensing and Consumer Affairs, to heighten consumer awareness.
During questioning by Sen. Adelbert M. Bryant, Joseph said he had a good relationship with all the members of the PSC board, which includes Alecia M. Wells from St. John and Patrick N. Williams and Luther Felix Renee of St. Croix. The three St. Thomas members, whose terms have all expired, are Walter L. Challenger, Desmond Maynard and Dora S. Hill.
Members of the PSC continue to serve until their successors are sworn in.
The governor has not yet named anyone to replace the three St. Thomas PSC members. There is also a vacancy on the board for St. Croix.
Two senators also sit on the board as non-voting members. They are Sens. Gregory Bennerson and Donald "Ducks" Cole.
Joseph was approved by a vote of 4-1, with Bryan offering the dissenting vote and Sen. Judy Gomez absent for the vote.
The nominees for the Hospital and Health Facilities board all agreed that semi-autonomy was a start at improving conditions at the hospitals, but that full autonomy is necessary and inevitable, according to a release from the Legislature.
The hospital board members were approved by a vote of 5-1.

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