ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth Mapp was born in Brooklyn and was formerly an officer with the New York Police Department. He invited New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to visit the area on Friday to assess some of the damage after Hurricane Irma.
“We have so much family connections throughout New York State that come from the U.S. Virgin Islands,” Assemblyman John McDonald said. “It’s not a surprise to me at all.”
“He’ll spend more time on that airplane than he did in Hoosick Falls when we had a water contamination issue,” Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin said.
Cuomo is traveling to the Virgin Islands in an official capacity. The governor’s office says taxpayers will not be on the hook for the cost of the trip.
“Transportation for this humanitarian mission was donated to the state delegation by John Catsimatidis at no cost to taxpayers,” said Governor Cuomo’s spokesperson in a statement. “Guidance from JCOPE was sought and they determined that based on the emergency situation and circumstances this donation was permissible under the relevant state laws and guidelines.”
McDonald says New York is a country leader and is the best state to step in and examine ways to help.
“New York State has always been one to reach out and help other states and territories in time of need,” he said.
New York Army and Air National Guardsmen are also spread pretty thin. They are helping out several states, including Texas, Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana. But that’s not bothering too many legislators at the Capitol.
“In America, you come together and join forces; I get that,” McLaughlin said. “I understand sending people to help. I don’t understand the governor going down there for a photo-op.”
“It fits into the mission of what New Yorkers are all about,” McDonald said. “He’s taking care of individuals in time of need.”
Cuomo said he will be sending 100 members of the New York Army National Guard’s 105th Military Police Company and 30 members of the New York State Police. They will deploy to the U.S. Virgin Islands this weekend.