Parliamentarians have heated exchange over Cassandra Janssen’s application

POSTED: 11/25/10 11:30 PM

St. Maarten – Members of Parliament (MPs) had a raging debate on Wednesday and the name of Cassandra Janssen was mentioned more than once. National Alliance (N.A.) MPs queried why the move was being made to appoint Franklin Hanze and Amador Muller as interim Clerk to Parliament and interim Acting Clerk to Parliament respectively, instead of giving either post to Janssen who has trained and applied for the top job twice.
MPs from the Democratic Party (D.P) and the United People’s (UP) Party who support hit back saying that Jansen will be given a fair chance, but they support the President of Parliament in her efforts to put in place a Secretariat that will allow Parliament to do its work.
The N.A. faction said it had no issues with Hanze’s appointment, but they were curious why Janssen who had undergone several years of training, including visits to the Parliament of the Netherlands Antilles and the Dutch Second Chamber, and had applied was not the one being proposed.
“Was it competence? Was it a misunderstanding? We understand that she eventually withdrew her candidacy without re-applying and we want to know why this Parliament can’t make that appointment,” NA MP Louie Laveist said.
His colleague Frans Richardson, who’d spoken of six to seven years of training for Janssen to take on the post added, “I think it is wrong to train somebody and then not give them the job.”
Vice President of Parliament Petrus Leroy de Weever, a D.P MP, said he could not understand the anger since all factions had received an explanation in a closed door Central Committee meeting that Hanze & Muller were being appointed temporarily so that the applications submitted could be properly vetted in the Presidium and a proper proposal drafted for the appointment of a permanent Clerk.
“Give us time to create a proposal and let’s not use any sort of insider trading tactics,” de Weever said.
D.P faction leader Roy Marlin, who handled the appointment of a Secretary General for Parliament while he was a Commissioner for five days, said it would have been impossible for the Presidium to draft a proposal in six days from the time Janssen re-applied for the position after withdrawing her candidacy seeing as Janssen reapplied on November 18. He also said he found it unfair and an unwise precedent that his colleagues had mentioned specifically Janssen’s name.
“There is a lesson to be learned here about how we handle appointments and that is some people may have a function elsewhere and their boss may not be aware and we may jeopardize their present employment,” Marlin said.
UP Faction Leader Romain Laville said almost like the N.A faction had concocted a scheme to make sure Parliament could not its work and plainly said he’d have none of that.
“The aim seems to be not to have a functioning Parliament. The applications for a Clerk and Deputy Clerk will be dealt with in another meeting so let’s finish all these games and grandstanding so we can over to doing the people’s business and also go over to finding a suitable, qualified person to be the Griffier for the Parliament,” the UP faction leader said.
Even though the N.A’s final word through Laveist is that they had qualms with the high fees that will be paid to Hanze and Muller and the fact that maybe Janssen should have at least been considered for the interim Acting Clerk to Parliament before elevation to the top job, the advice was unanimously accepted in both cases.
Hanze’s firm will receive a monthly fee of Nafls 39, 523.95 and Muller will bill Parliament Nafls 250 guilders per hour when he does work for the body. He will add this to his monthly invoices to the government, and the data will be forwarded to Parliament for them to make the necessary payments, if they use his services. DP MP Roy Marlin explained the choice of Muller is based on his background, his willingness to assist and the fact that Parliament needed someone who can replace Hanze if he was unavailable.

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