Reader’s Letter: Of this and thatPOSTED: 07/26/11 11:59 AM
For the past two weeks several things have occurred that require comment. Some have already been commented on but bear with me as I add my two cents. For over a year we have all been complaining about GEBE bills, blaming the managing director in most part. I don’t really agree that the high bills were solely his fault but maybe more on that in another article.
My main concern is the proposal from the National Alliance (N.A.) on requesting GEBE investigate the possibility of reducing the fuel clause by 50% (notice the bold italics). A proposal like this should have no problem passing in Parliament but as usual nine members voted in favor of the party instead of in favor of the people. MP Laville, likes to refer to himself as the new politics, but I have yet to see anything new from the young politician. He and others continue to vote along party lines or even worse yet vote as they are told to vote by their leader. This is old politics, not new. For some reason, politicians believe they can do the opposite of what they say and no one will notice.
MP Laville as an excuse to not supporting relief from GEBE, stated that GEBE indicated that such relief was not possible. However, the proposal was not that GEBE should reduce the bills but that GEBE should look at the possibility of reducing the bills after investigation. Don’t place all your blame on Laville though as eight others voted along with him to pull back the proposal.
For all of you that sell your vote during elections, you know who you are; the price of a vote next election should be as follows. Take your GEBE bill for the next six months, divide the amount paid for the fuel clause by two, add them all up and begin your negotiations from this amount. Note: The Fuel Clause has since been adjusted so just divide you bill in half instead.
Does anyone else think it’s strange that Minister Heyliger is all of a sudden concerned about UTS operations on St. Maarten? It is strange timing for his comments when we consider that just a few days before, Director of UTS and Chamber of Commerce President made comments about government’s lack of leadership and direction. Was the minister trying to send a cryptic warning to Glen Carty? You decide.
The President of Parliament continues to make mistakes when it comes to the rules of order but I don’t blame only her. She has support staff that is supposed to direct her, maybe Ms. Jansen would have been a better choice for the position. One friendly advice to Madame President, when a mistake is made, own up to it, correct it and move on. Nobody is perfect but when we try to cover our mistakes and find excuses we tend not to learn from them.
I was disturbed to hear that the ‘Griffier’ is responsible for hiring of the support staff for parliament. My reason is that he’s not from here and he will not take our people into consideration when making his decisions. I do hope that parliament keeps a keen eye on who gets hired for these very important positions and that the deciding factor is not which party you supported in the last election but whomever is most qualified for the job.
Lastly, Minister Heyliger has made comments about Government owned companies contributing to the development of St. Maarten and basically I have no problem with this. However, we have to be careful how these contributions are made. Simply because you got votes in an election and were appointed Minister does not make you an expert in the field of electricity, shipping, or aviation and therefore you have no right to make decisions as to how any government owned company is run.
As a political representative though you can decide on the overall method as to how the company operates in consultation with the management of said company. As such, I feel that these companies should contribute directly to the coffers of government in the form of concession payments and dividends but should not get involved in public projects. Transparency must at all times be maintained.