Last Thursday night Commissioner of Constitutional Affairs, Chris Johnson, hosted a Town Hall meeting on Saba. This meeting was held within the Eugenius Johnson Center in Windwardside. The turnout was larger than expected and brought in a diverse set of people from within the community.
Johnson presented the crowd with updates and news on the constitutional changes that will affect the Island Territory of Saba. Following a PowerPoint presentation, he spoke about the constitutional timeline, information from the BES weeks, structure of Government, recent decisions made, and the 5 five year evaluation period after the transition.
Johnson hammered at the significance of the "Four Pillars" and how important it is that we upgrade these pillars to modern standards. These four pillars are known as Education, Health care, Justice, and Social Services.
The information session included conclusions made during the constitutional changes. Some of these include the US Dollar as official currency, 24 hour medical evacuation that Saba has needed for years, Fiber optic possibilities, BES police corps, improved welfare, Youth and Family center, and Single health insurance. These decisions when implemented should slowly move Saba towards raising its four pillars of society.
Another highlight during the session was the additional funding of 24 Million Euros in the areas of Public Health, Youth & Family, Education, and Public Safety, which will be dispersed over the 2009/2010 period.
The session was wrapped up with questions and answers from the audience. Commissioner Johnson was upfront, stating that he may not have all the answers asked, but would supply them with everything that is known up to this point. The audience was not timid in presenting their question and the majority of concerns were laid to rest with detailed and historical explanations from Johnson.
Following the event Johnson was able to spend informal one-on-one time outside the center with members of the audience. Commissioner Johnson later spoke with GIS and stated, "I enjoyed taking the opportunity to answer questions and inform the community of these pertinent constitutional changes"