Senator/councilman George Pantophlet on Country St.Maarten

The process towards separate status is one that calls for total commitment and focus. We have to keep reminding ourselves that we have to keep moving forward.  

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Fear is not an option. Probably by the time this article appears in the media according to the hour set to debate the consensus Kingdom Laws and the amendment to the Kingdom Charter in the First Chamber would have already started. What we must guard against however is the manner in which assistance is given or requested. We had higher supervision in the early 90’s. And although some improvements were made it still left a lot to be desired as too many things were done for us and we were never given the opportunity to do for ourselves. Or some of us did not make use of the opportunity to do so. Today we are not talking higher supervision but assistance and cooperation. This assistance will and can come from the islands that now form the Netherlands Antilles, Aruba and also from the Netherlands. It will and can also come from wherever we deem necessary but we must decide the criteria. As a separate country we will have to change our mindset. In the meantime Service Level Agreements will have to be signed. What is important is that our people are trained to fill the positions that will presently be filled by others. As much as possible we should have counterparts in every department where necessary. Contrary to what some might think or want to see, the civil apparatus will become larger. When we look at the tasks now being executed by the Central Government that will be taken over by country St. Maarten you can imagine why I said government apparatus will need more staff. My concern is that all of us private and public sector understand that we are service oriented in all facets. To all of us who work for government we are civil servants. The word civil has many definitions. But to me the most important ones are: adequate in courtesy and politeness or mannerly. The word servant is: one that serves another (public). Let us remind ourselves of this everyday and every hour.