DP says: The people of Sint Maarten have been shortchanged by the NA/Heyliger Government- again

The impression might have been created that for some obscure reason the members of the DP faction in the island council did not attend the continuation of the island council meeting on Wednesday, May 12, 2010, dealing with the agenda point "Changes to the articles of Incorporation of Telem Holding". 

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It can be recalled that this meeting had been adjourned on May 11, after 12 am at which time the Chairman of the Island Council announced that the continuation would be on the 12th at 3.00 pm.

It is a fact that on that Wednesday, no DP faction member was present in the hall at 3 pm promptly, albeit that this was not intentional.

In fact, DP island council member, Maria Buncamper Molanus arrived in the Legislative Hall at appr. 3.06 pm only to hear that the Chairman had just brought down the gavel and closed the meeting. A request by the Council lady to allow her to sign in was not/could not be entertained.

About 1 minute later, Council Lady Wescot arrived on the scene, only to be told by Council man Louie Laveist at the bottom of the stairs that the meeting had been closed.

Government members were in all probability quite amused as indeed: "they had caught the DP". But did they?

Clearly, seeing that no member of the opposition DP was present, the people of St. Maarten were "treated" with a less that 2 minutes presentation by the Leader of Government, Mr. William Marlin.

To add insult to injury, a member of the ruling coalition, Mr. Samuel was allegedly muzzled by the leader of government, because had that member been allowed to speak, the meeting would have continued, allowing members of the DP to arrive and make the government give account of their actions.

Nothing in essence against the proposal which came from Telem, but government can not expect in this day and age to do as they please and not give account.

Some feel that the DP should get some satisfaction seeing that the government appears to be on the run from the opposition.

How often had the DP faction in the island council not have to wait for members of government to arrive, for members of government to just simply get their act together for the meeting or for government to decide who should speak.

Still, meeting starts at 3 pm, DP members should have been there.

But with or without the DP members, the government had the opportunity to explain to the general population the request from TELEM for amendments to its articles of incorporation so it could have a bond issue arranged in the amount of 20 million US dollars. Government could have explained to the people how things stand presently with our telephone company; how far the company is with negotiating a strategic partnership and with whom.

There is no possibility for Telem’s management or Board to come in a public island council meeting and explain to the Island Council and the people of Sint Maarten how they are faring as a company, what the prospects are for our government-owned telephone company, short and long term.

But the government has that possibility, in fact the government has that RESPONSIBILITY to the people it represents.

Was the DP caught, by arriving a few minutes late? No, the people of Sint Maarten were, because the government got away with not giving any account of a decision they took regarding the Telephone company, a decision that definitely can not be considered a routine matter and thus business as usual.