Terry Peterson announces his political ambitions “Send me a message that you want me to run and say why”

POSTED: 02/11/14 10:01 AM

St. Maarten – Community activist, Terry Peterson, has launched an exploratory committee with new Facebook page and 2014 “Making SXM Better” Magnetic Calendar. “This week I have summoned an exploratory committee to assist me in realigning and calibrating my political trajectory and exploring our possibilities for participation in the upcoming parliamentary election. This will serve to assess the state of play and analyze the rules of engagement as we test the political waters for 2014,” Peterson said in a press release. He said that everyone can appreciate that the 2014 calendar has no political logo on it and is totally non-partisan. Members of the committee will start giving these out to the community immediately.

Peterson said the feedback, suggestions, and recommendations he has received on the ground thus far since his resignation (from the National Alliance – ed.) were mostly positive and kind. Some party loyalists called secretly to criticize the leadership of their party and to say among other things, “This needed to be done. The party needs a shake up.” One senior member of the party stated, “For once we have a well-documented resignation for the historical records.” A community member sent a text saying, “I wanted to commend you on your decision. Not for what you decided to do but for your honesty and your explanation to the people of SXM. So many times people leave without an honest explanation. Good luck in whatever you decide to do.”

Peterson indicated that upon invitation, he had some fruitful meetings with the point guards of the various political parties, as well as young professionals who have shown interest and willingness to come together to start something new. Our preference would be to join a new team with fresh ideas to bring about real change once there is the will, passion and commitment to do so. However, if not we will throw our support, passively or actively, behind one of the existing teams with the necessary vision and passion.

He said he commended the leader of the Democratic Party, for her poise and prudence shown in safeguarding the image of the country during great political instability, and for the cordial talks they had. He also stated that he personally expressed admiration to the leader of the United People Party for his imagination, vision, innovation since he was elected into public office at the age of 25, and his determination to lift this country to economic sustainability, growth and prosperity despite the constant slander and negative criticism of his family.

Peterson expressed that most people recognized that there were three parts to his resignation, similar to the opening remarks of the Governor of SXM in his new year’s address. There was a celebration of our political history and achievements; a critic of the Country Agenda and Political Performance, and finally, Thanksgiving. Peterson said, “If some disagree then let the attendance and performance record in parliament speak for itself. They say they were only in government for a year, but they were in parliament for 4 years with hardly anything to show for it.” “And may I add that politicians who also serve as advisors in parliament should also be subjected to performance reviews, highlighting what ideas they brought to the bi/tri/non-partisan table, what projects they helped initiate, what proposals they formulated, what motions or legislation they helped engineer in four years.”

Peterson said he did not bash any individual. He said that everybody knows that the bashing was done a day before his resignation “when the political leader of a party made a mockery of the aspirations of Frans Richardson for a seat in parliament, ridiculed his party and ambition and called him a defector.” With this remark, Peterson refers to statements made by National Alliance leader William Marlin about his former right-hand Frans Richardson.

“There were those who tried to conjecture why young candidates left, as if young candidates are not able to think for themselves and make decisions for themselves,” Peterson stated. “The reasons for my resignation were very clear and were not engineered by anyone. My method is a teaching of freedom. I encourage young people to think for themselves and don’t be a blind party follower as a SXM patriot once told me.”

Peterson stated that he cannot imagine why one would use the resignation of young candidates to advance their quest for power. He said he could not imagine that if his family is hemorrhaging he would start an entitlement parade claiming his right to inheritance or leadership, or the #1 or #2 spot, flying in the face of other senior members of their party, and then later sit at a table saying you are stronger than ever!” Some of their own supporters agree that this is one wild, frantic swing at their own people and reflects the party’s “increasing disorganization” and the lack of “any coherent strategy”.  He said further, that this negative strategy “diminishes their already bruised credibility” and St. Maarten’s image. “Peterson noted that, it was so surprising to see those who said they would never set foot at Westin Hotel, so comfortable there despite their harsh criticism of the now famous Letter of Comfort. “I therefore say to the people, bite the hands that feed you the rotten meat of hypocrisy and the stale bread of two-facedness.”

“What we have witnessed this past week in the form of the latest and lowest misleading attacks against the good doctor and his family and other individuals was another confirmation that I made the right decision to leave. This nasty-gutter-style ploy misleads people and even mocks our ability to inspire young people of SXM and bring St. Maarteners back into the political process or restore trust in government.  Many are calling their accusations “desperate”, “hypocritical”, “shameful”, and “a nasty turn into the gutter,” Peterson stated with a reference to the departure of Dr. Lloyd ‘Richardson from the National Alliance.

Peterson stated that a political party, essentially told us that if a politician has been riddled with investigations, banned from public office, convicted on all possible counts for bribery, in every possible court, he is ok as long as he is on their party list. “It was ok for number 10 to sit and dine with the odd number 9 as long as he is on their party list. But everyone knows that no matter how you twist it, an odd number plus and even number always equals an odd number!  I wonder which family would benefit from the construction contract for the 200 homes in the Emilio Wilson Park? Did any young candidates hold the country and economy hostage in a Mexican stand-off in order to secure their pensions?”

Peterson recalled a message he read in an office at the Island Receivers last week which said, “Small Minds discuss People, but Great Minds discuss Ideas.” Peterson stated, “Indeed, the challenges that confront us are real and the problems are many, and so there is no time to engage in the senseless bully politics of fear and intimidation. I know I am motivated by a single, simple, yet powerful idea—that I can play a small part in building a better and brighter St. Maarten. I assure you if we make the journey to parliament together, teachers, nurses, firefighters, police, farmers, single parents, janitors, housekeepers, those on the night shift, those with special needs, the differently-abled, senior citizens, and other voiceless marginalized and vulnerable groups will have a voice and a friend in parliament!”

“I assure you that if elected into parliament that within my first 200 days I will immediately redirect 50% of my salary to initiating new legislation to lower utility rates for our people, especially seniors and the differently-abled; and among other things, work with parliament to secure support for tax credits or incentives to save small businesses; provide a cushion to consumers from the high food prices, and the high prices of petrol and cooking gas; and explore the immediate construction of a new Forensic Unit for Crime Prevention and a fully equipped new Center of the Arts Facility for talent development.”

Peterson said he was almost ready to make an announcement but not without hearing from the people. “However, before I do I want to give the public another opportunity to let me know what issues they support, what matters most to them, and what changes they would like to see. Your voice is valid. I want to hear from you. Therefore, your feedback would be most helpful as we work together to make the difference. You may email me your responses on Facebook, twitter@terryjpeterson, BB Me:7AB9E50D, meet me in person, or call the number on the 2014 Calendar we are releasing today. Send me a message that you want me to run and say why. Thank you so much for helping me with this important decision.”

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