Letter: Waste of tax payers money

POSTED: 10/25/11 2:20 PM

Dear Editor,

I wonder sometimes what are the priorities of the government of St. Maarten. Let us take the postal service affair as an example. This is a matter that should have been handle post haste. My humble opinion tells me that this matter should have been considered a priority. It is an essential service that has to be provided to the public and the livelihood of the workers of the postal service depends on the continuity of this service.
But when did our government really become involved in the postal service affair? Only after receiving an ultimatum from the NPNA did the government really put serious effort into the matter. Then it became the postal saga. The closure of the post office could have been avoided if government had seen the urgency in solving the matter. That urgency was lacking on the part of government.

Yet another matter that should be considered a top priority is the civil aviation dilemma that is ongoing. I am not seeing a real concern by the government pertaining to this. You can’t leave this matter up to Curacao alone to handle. If things do not work out favorably the economy of St. Maarten is going to suffer. If the economy suffers, the people of St. Maarten will hurt. Sitting back and not doing anything will certainly not solve the problem. It behooves government to send a delegation to the Netherlands to lobby for assistance in solving the civil aviation dilemma. It appears that Curacao neither has the modern equipment nor the knowledgeable man power to take care of this matter.
Spending money on things that are not a priority seems to be the norm of this government. Why would three ministers find it important to employ a public relation firm to do PR for the Ministries of TEZVT, VROMI and Finance when there is a scarcity of money in government and the apparatus of government already has a department that does communication and PR (DCOMM). If these three ministers find that the government department is not up to par then their obligation is to have it upgraded. The solution should not be to spend large sums of government monies on third parties. This is neither good governance nor good economics. Is this not a waste of tax payer’s money?

And the big question is, why is this PR firm only going to serve the above mentioned ministries and not the whole cabinet? Is there a difference in quality between the ministries of TEZVT, VROMI and Finance and the rest of the cabinet or is the rest of the cabinet more responsible than the ministers of TEZVT, VROMI and Finance.
I really would like to know, what is the opinion of the prime minister on this matter? This type of action creates the impression that there is no togetherness among the members of the Council of Ministers.

Todd Peterson
A concern citizen

Editor’s note: Each minister is legally allowed six staffers as part of the formation of their cabinet and some have included a Public Relations Officer. The Prime Minister makes use of the same PR Firm as the ministries Todd Peterson lists and the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport as well as the Justice Minister employ someone directly. The Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor makes use of the Department of Communications.

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