National Alliance Congress 2016: Marlin and Jacobs returned as party leader and deputyPOSTED: 07/26/16 7:30 PM
St. Maarten News —Members of the National Alliance has returned William Marlin and Silveria Jacobs as the leader and deputy leader respectfully with a unanimous vote at the party congress Sunday. The congress was held at the Westin St. Maarten Dawn Beach Resort and Spa on Sunday.
Keynote speaker was Ralph Cantave, author and 2015 recipient of the President of Parliament Award. In his presentation he spoke of the difficulties that the island experienced following the passage of the hurricanes of 1995 and reminded the audience how quickly the island was restored and much better than the way it was built before. He noted that when the rebuilding was completed St. Maarten came right back to its prominence where it rightly deserved.
He explained that now after 21 years following the passage of hurricanes Luis and Lenny, the island is again devastated by instability where the government has changed five times in five years. This led to a slow economic growth and a spike in criminal activity with a higher cost of living and children going hungry in the “land of milk and honey.”
He questioned that how is it that local St. Maarteners no longer control the economy in the land that they built? He said that although this ratio has to change, it cannot be done without the masses participating in the electoral process. He explained that the island is at a new stage of development and the National Alliance must be commended and their leader William Marlin for the commitment and accomplishments over the years.
He pointed out that St. Maarten is over developed and must now focus the development on the building of the people. The focus must be on 21st century educators, legislators and professionals. Having entrepreneurial skills is the order of the day, he stressed; as a result there is need to re-introduce the culture of ownership in the society. He mentioned that young people have little opportunity to grow in the society and nothing will be achieved if this continues.
He called for closer relationship between the governments of Marigot and Philipsburg because it is through unity much can be achieved. He explained that this created equal opportunities for employment for the peoples of both sides of the island.
He called for opportunities to be created for locals and especially students who have returned from studying. He also called for an end to “wasteful” spending on projects while schools are “run down” without proper restrooms and class rooms without electricity. He stated that renewable energy should be used in schools and called for radical changes in the curriculum.
During the congress, several persons were honored for their outstanding performance in the community. Among these were Alicia Warren, Neville “Doc” Lake, Elaine Gumbs-Vlaun, Indhira Marlin, who only recently received the prestigious Prins Bernhard Cultural Funds.
Deputy leader Silveria Jacobs of the National Alliance expressed her gratitude to the many members from the different districts who came to support the party at the event. She called on them to secure more support for the National Alliance and commended them for their hard work. Leader of the National Alliance William Marlin in his remarks called on the electorate to give him a full mandate of ten seats so that the party could continue on the current trend to build the island.