March 30, 2005 – Alberto Bruno-Vega, chief executive officer for the Water and Power Authority, is relocating to St. Croix.
He told WAPA board members on Wednesday the change would not effect costs or operations much.
He said he presently spends a couple of days a week on St. Croix, which costs WAPA $150 to $175 for a hotel room and $35 per diem.
He said in the new arrangement, he would rent a place on St. Croix and would not charge WAPA for his costs while staying on St. Thomas because he already has a home there.
The board spent a half hour debating the move at its meeting at its Sunny Isle office. Board Chairman David Lynch suggested the solution might be the hiring of a deputy chief administrator.
However, several board members balked at his solution, saying customers wanted WAPA to start cutting costs, "not hiring someone else in a high level administrative position."
The board decided no action was necessary on its part, that the matter would be left up to Bruno-Vega.
Member Alphonso Franklin said someone did need to take charge in St. Croix. He said it always bothered him coming to the St. Croix office and seeing the sign with missing letters over the building. There was disagreement among board members on what hurricane broke the sign. However, they were told by a staff member that a purchase order had gone out to fix the sign and the work should be completed within a month.
A second item concerning the image the Authority presented to the public – a newspaper advertisement – also came up for discussion at the meeting. The advertisement is to explain what the Authority does and why it will be asking customers to cut down on power consumption.
Roy A. Anduze said the advertisement needed to be "short and sweet" or nobody would read it. He said, "The average person's life is filled with so much debris, they will only allocate so much time to reading a newspaper."
Franklin disagreed, saying it was the responsibility of the Authority to explain in detail what was going on.
The board gave Cassandra Dunn, WAPA's public relation person, the responsibility of determining the final make up of the advertisement.
Anduze also commented on what he sees as consistent absences from meetings by Andrew Rutnik, Licensing and Consumer Affairs commissioner. He suggested, "If he is not going to attend, maybe he should resign. He should not be taking up a position where a conscientious person could participate."
Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.