BVI News

Over 1K signatures | Governor receives petition for Vanterpool’s swear-in

Chairwoman of the Fourth District Grievance Committee, Marilyn Freeman.

A petition with more than 1,000 affixed signatures has been presented to Governor Augustus Jaspert in reference to having member-elect of the Fourth District Mark Vanterpool sworn into office.

This was done on Tuesday by residents of the Fourth District through a grievance committee that was formed in light of the ongoing issue.

“We are expecting from the governor as the Queen’s representative to look into the matter … It is very important because the Fourth District has not been represented by a representative since the election and it has been over three months and that’s according to the constitution,” said committee Chairwoman, Marilyn Freeman.

Opposition Leader Marlon Penn who accompanied the committee to deliver the petition to Government House on Tuesday said the issue has become a vexing matter.

Threat to democracy

Penn described the issue as a threat to democracy since Speaker Julian Willock has refused to swear in Vanterpool on multiple occasions, despite the advice of the court and other officials.

“This district has been unrepresented since the election and the Election Act states that no district should go unrepresented more than 60 days. We passed that point. We went through a process as far as the governor writing stating that there is no vacancy in the Fourth District and the seat should be filled. The Speaker disobeyed that view and took a different view, he took it to court, he in his own words said that when the court decides that he will accept the court’s decision,” the Opposition leader said.

“The court has decided [but] he (the Speaker) has not accepted the court’s decision. It has now gone to appeal and there is a stay of the decision in the court which I’m understanding won’t be heard until June, so this is another month that the people will go unrepresented. Then you are looking at possibly July for a hearing on this matter.”

Dollars piling

Penn said he believes that almost $200,000 has been spent on court proceedings on the matter.

“I asked a question in the House concerning what is this costing the people of this territory. The Premier refused to answer. The question was not specific to any of the specific concerns of the details of the case but the cost, the people should know,” Penn stated.

He continued: “My intelligence tells me that it is in the range over $100,000 already and that is just for the Speaker’s cost and Honourable Vanterpool’s cost is close to $80,000. Taxpayers will have to pay that bill.”

The Governor was not given any specified timeline as to when he will officially respond to the petition.

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  1. Cece says:

    Interesting case because Mr Vanterpool did not receive 1,000 votes on election day.

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  2. Quiet Rebel says:

    D-4 Representative-elect former MCW Mark Vanterpool caused this SNAFU and should shoulder the blame for the dysfunctional situation. Mark turned his back on D-4 voters by submitting his resignation 7 days before he would have been sworn in. Are the 1000+ signatures eligible D-4 voters? How many of the 1000+ persons that signed the petition voted on 2/25/19? Did the Supervisor of Election certify the names on the petition? How of people on the petition, if any, are non-voters?

    Further, though the D-4 rep-elect has not been sworn in, D-4 is not without representation. The 4 at large reps, represent the whole BVI, not specific districts. Additionally, the Premier and Deputy Premier, though not directly elected by D-4 voters, they should ensure that D-4 is being taken care of. The issue is before the Court so the Governor should not interfere with the process. Sometimes in life we have to live with the consequences of her folly.

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    • 4District says:

      This war not the election ,I voted for Luce but we have to move on I signed on so the district can progress The Premier can stop this madness He selected Willock so he can instruct him to swear the man in , does Willock has a personal vendetta against Mark so that is why he is behaving like that ?

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    • VI political says:

      only voters signed, did not have to be d4

  3. @ Cece says:

    Interesting indeed but this was not an election. The people in the fourth are not all NDP. I am pretty sure there are VIP and PVIM voters who want to see and end to the foolish childlike behavior of the speaker. In fact some persons may have changed party allegiance because of the matter. Who knows????

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  4. What a Thing says:

    An earlier article quoted Mr. Fonseca that they were going to defer the matter of taking the petition to the governor, since other persons expressed an interest in also signing the petition other than those living in the fourth district.

  5. True but.... says:

    Even persons who voted for someone else are sick of this nonsense so they sign. This should not be a partisan issue.

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  6. Hugh Darley says:

    You cannot seriously consider Mark returning to public service. The Pier Park financial corruption cannot be rewarded. I look forward to cleaning up the project with the new government sans Mark Vanterpool.

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    • thoughtful sailor says:

      Whatever you may think of him, if he got elected, he is in. It’s called democracy.

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      • Hmmmmm! says:

        So the whole issue of “I can no longer represent you my people. I resign my post” is no longer in view. The fact that he didn’t even show up for his swearing in doesn’t count anymore??Why are we behaving like battered wives people?? Choose a new reputable re.p who aspires to lead not one who got more games than the Olympics. We all are being played. Put an end now!

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      • Miller says:

        Yes thoughtful sailor but if he resign his post he is out.. its called resignation..

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  7. Ausar says:

    It’s because “Cece”, there are more persons, than not, who have realized that what has happened to Honourable Vanterpool, is nothing short of vindictiveness!

    That we are here at this juncture without judiciary relief, says alot about the system, that governs the rule of law!

    Hopefully, the Queen’s representative can move judiciously, and have ordered, swift relief in this matter!

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  8. Stewie says:

    Numbers don’t lie but people do. The petition does not seem to be an accurate depiction of the 4th district voters. Mark received 442 votes. 901 people voted in the 4th district. The protest only had about 30 people max. The petition to revoke Willock as Speaker had almost 4000 views but only received 89 signatures. I guess people don’t hate Willock as much as they make it seem and Mark got more popular after he quit on his district. Strange times in the BVI.

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  9. Hush you mouth says:

    The issue at hand is the Speaker disrespect for the authority of the court ruling. District 4 Rep. governance crooked or straight is something altogether different.
    Learn some common knowledge. Yet he the speaker wants Opposition Leader to listen to him in silence and respect his authority. What arrogance. Lead by example Mr. Speaker. Better yet put your own house in order. The leader of the opposition is not a child. You cant even talk to your own child like that. What a ting!!

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  10. abc says:

    Yes Willock we with you do not mind the noise

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  11. Rubbish they need go siddung says:

    First of all are the 1000 signatures even constituents of the 4th district? Better yet are they even registered voters of the 4th district? It would be ashame they petitioning every Tom, Dick and Harry that has no say in the electoral process of the 4th district. The 4th district electorate views and opinions have to be heard especially those that are registered voters in the district to decide if they eant Mark Vanterpool to continue representing them.

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  12. ndp heckler says:

    He will not get back in so easily because of what he did to 4 big ones in the VIP

  13. Concerned BVIslander says:

    Appointing Willock Speaker was a very bad decision. Humble yourself Mr. Willock, humble yourself. Humility goes a long way.

    Like 11
  14. sam the man says:

    all a bit silly really, we are so good at making ourselves look bad….that humble pie sure is taking the speaker a long long time to swallow! warning to us all – consequences of pride – It is annoying how much of our hard earned tax payers money is being wasted on this – so far probably over 2 Carnival budgets worth!

  15. qc says:

    that petition like the others not going anywhere

  16. Claw says:

    If we had Vote PVIM this would have not be happening. There is a lot more to unfold.

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