During Monday’s Government House press briefing, Governor Albert Bryan Jr. introduced the newest member of his Cabinet, Finance Commissioner Nominee Kevin McCurdy. McCurdy, a Virgin Islander, returns to the territory from Chicago, where he worked as the Associate Vice President of Finance and Planning at Adler University.
“I know he is committed to this community,” Governor Bryan said, stating that McCurdy’s family is in the territory. “I welcome him today and introduce him to you as our designee for the Commissioner of Finance.” McCurdy previously served as Associate Director for the Office of Management and Budget and held several positions at OMB to include Senior Budget Analysis and Revenue Control Officer. McCurdy holds a master’s degree in economics and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Roosevelt University in Chicago.
USVI Cancer Summit
Health Commissioner Justa Encarnacion provided information about the first USVI Cancer Summit, which will be held on St Croix Tuesday and Wednesday, July 18 and 19.
With the goal of increasing cancer prevention through early detection, Commissioner Encarnacion urged the community to tune in and comment on the livestream of the USVI Cancer Summit, which will be contained on the Department of Health’s Facebook page. “We want to ensure that the community remains engaged in the process,” she said.
Commissioner Encarnacion also announced the dates for the Second Annual Children’s Mental Health Summit, which began on St. Thomas last week and will take place on St. Croix July 26 through July 29. Noting a slight increase in heat exhaustion cases in the territory’s hospitals, Commissioner Encarnacion provided tips for enduring the hot weather – such as remaining hydrated by consuming non-alcoholic beverages, wearing lightweight clothing and seeking air-conditioned environments.
With recent suicides reported in the territory, Governor Bryan and Commissioner Encarnacion encouraged members of the community to communicate with one another and to call 9-8-8 to engage the national suicide prevention hotline. Local crisis numbers are (340) 712-0096 on St. Croix, (340) 774-7700 on St. Thomas and (340) 776-6400 on St. John.
USVI Land & Water Use Plan
Governor Bryan lauded the efforts of DPNR Commissioner Jean-Pierre Oriol who has been publicizing upcoming Town Halls seeking community input on a proposed USVI Land and Water Use Plan. Town Halls will take place on St. Thomas July 18, St. John July 19 and on St. Croix July 20. “This is a great, great thing for the people of the Virgin Islands,” Governor Bryan said.
Governor Bryan traveled to Las Vegas last week and met with WNBA rookie Aaliyah Boston and her family ahead of the WNBA finals. Aaliyah, who the Governor termed, “our one-and-only superstar,” is now the official brand ambassador of the Virgin Islands, Governor Bryan said. Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte and Housing, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Calvert White joined the Governor for the announcement in Las Vegas over the weekend. A new sign featuring Aaliyah Boston will be erected at Cyril E. King Airport, Governor Bryan said.
NPS Land Exchange
Governor Bryan thanked legislators in advance for their support of the exchange of Whistling Cay on St. John for a parcel in Estate Catherineberg to house a new K-12 school on the island of St. John. The 35th Legislature will vote on the proposed legislation during a meeting of the Committee of the Whole on Thursday, July 20.