St. Maarten – Gracita states; “there’s no question that finding a lasting solution for some of the most pressing issues facing our communities today, must remain on the front burner of the agenda of the people of Sint Maarten. It’s important for the people of Sint Maarten to understand that we must hold our government officials accountable for their none actions in regards to the decisions or reluctance to act and act swiftly in the best interest of the people they represent. Some may regard their appointed or elected position as earning an income of 10.000 USD dollars as a side job. The law prescribes that executing the job as a Member of Parliament (MP) is a full time job. That’s the law, what happened to our moral obligation to work full time once elected into office. Ethically, there should be no question that with thousands still un -or under employed, insufficient social housing and a growing dump which is a toxic health hazard to our children, elderly and other citizens, more effective leadership is required from our elected and appointed officials”
Arrindell said; “ a new Parliament was sworn in on April 2nd 2018. The new hurricane season is here. People are understandably nervous and still rattled not only by the last hurricane experiences. More-so due to the seemingly lack of a clear direction of the priorities to be set by a new government.
It is absolutely disgusting that to date Sint Maarten has no new government in place. Recovery process while moving is doing so at a slow pace. Too slow for many still homeless, roofless, jobless. One of the narrative’s allegedly sent out from the present coalition in response to the many questions concerning the delay has been that Holland takes its time, sometimes nine months or more to form a new government, therefore there’s no haste in having a new government in place.
“While this may be the case in Netherlands and in other countries in Europe or elsewhere in the world, it’s absolutely irresponsible to provide this misplaced response to the citizens of this island. For example, Holland is one of the richest countries in the world, with a well -defined social security and healthcare system. A well- designed safety net is in place for those who become unemployed.
Additionally, the Dutch economy is overheated, while unemployment is at it’s lowest in years. Lastly, but equally important, Holland did not experience a devastating hurricane a year ago. We did!“
Gracita continues; there are several pressing matters we hope to see addressed in the yet to be submitted reconstruction report for financing through the World Bank. These are:
- Garbage health hazard. We must make a conscious decision once and for all to STOP POISENING OUR CHILDREN. There’s no one -stop solution to solve this health-hazard. It’s clear that a many facetted approach is required to deal resolutely with the toxic health hazard in Philipsburg. It was brought to my attention that the city of Milan has become a poster child in Europe in regards to garbage disposal. It reportedly took this city about 8 years to have a multifaceted garbage disposal solution while at the same time getting rid of 88% of all it’s organic waste. In a block by block approach this City managed to deal with one of its most difficult issues facing its citizens and visitors.
If this city of over 1.3 million citizens can do this, we can find a way to clean
up this toxic health hazard in an open and transparent way here in Sint
Maarten as well. The new government can reach out to the Mayor of the City
of Milan and work towards a multifaceted solution.
Additionally, Parliament must finalize this year, the law to ban plastic bags
at all supermarkets and other business and introduce biodegradable bags in
which organic waste can be collected.
- Financial support for businesses. We must provide incentives to the middle class and small business who are eligible to receive such funds and who are in dire need of financial support to stay in business. Where is the Sint Maarten Marshall Plan?
- Social housing. What is the status of the FOGA and other similar social housing projects? Will the Sint Maarten Housing Foundation receive funding from the Recovery/ reconstruction funds to build homes at already identified locations thereby lessen the critical need for social housing for our many citizens?
Gracita concludes; “ lastly, but not less important, it is time for the interim or new Government to disclose to the People of Sint Maarten the manner in which the reconstruction funds will be dispersed into which project and for what price tag. It is time for each community to know factually how it is being prepared for this hurricane season. It’s time for Parliament to hold Government accountable and demand this disclosure sooner rather than later”