PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - “I would like to congratulate the Marlin Cabinet who was sworn in on Thursday, 19thNovember.  A new chapter has been turned over for the people of Sint Maarten.

 
“We can look forward with confidence that this new team will get the job done.  We have a team with experience of Cabinet members who come from public and private sectors.
 
“With respect to the Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure, the person who accepted this position passed the screening process without any issues.
 
“Unfortunately, a complaint was filed with the Public Prosecutors Office and this has prevented the candidate incoming Minister for Ministry VROMI not to be sworn in on November 19th. The person must be held accountable for his/her actions for tarnishing a person's good name and costing the taxpayer’s money with such an action.
 
“This is dirty politics at play which is very sad.  I have always preached, we need to raise the bar and bring politics and governing up to a higher level.  The people deserve better, but God is good and the truth shall be revealed in the coming days. What goes around comes around.  Always do good to the people. This is just another way to try and slow down another Minister from hitting the ground running with priority projects and quick wins for the people. But for every set back there is a comeback.
 
“I would like the Public Prosecutor to finalize its investigation as soon as possible so the position of Minister VROMI can be filled quickly.  Congratulations to the Marlin Cabinet and to my coalition partners as well,” MP Maurice Lake said on Thursday.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten – Caribbean Tourism Day (CTD) was observed across the Region on November 3rd or the first Tuesday of November.  

Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT) St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, planned a number of activities throughout the month of November to profile the importance of the tourism sector to the economy, also marking it as Caribbean Tourism Month.

 

An Awards Dinner Ceremony took place on November 14th to recognize and encourage tourism related businesses and industry workers in the hospitality sector and to thank them for their outstanding achievements on a daily basis.

 

Minister of Tourism Affairs Hon. Ernest Sams presented an award to several local young professionals over the past weekend for their dedication and hard work to the country’s tourism sector.  These persons were: Anastacio Baker; Zillah Duzon-Hazel; Renata De Weever; Diya Sachdev; Alexander Gumbs; and Ninousja Lambert.

 

On Sunday, November 22nd, walk for Tourism Walk-a-thon is planned with the aim of creating greater public awareness and understanding for the importance of tourism while preserving a healthy society. 

 

Local businesses are encouraged to wear their company’s T-shirts in support of this tourism awareness initiative and everybody is encouraged to come out.

MARIGOT, St. Maarten - On November 18, 2015, Saint Barthélémy policemen conducted a fight against the operation of crime at the request of the prosecutor.

At around 19 hours, they monitored two individuals who were riding on a scooter. When checking the riders, the dog of the dog team which is based in Saint Barthelemy mark clearly the individuals as suspects.

A search of the suspects was initiated and the Police Officers discovered several pouches of cocaine in the pockets of the two individuals. A total of 21 grams of cocaine packaged in 25 pouches were discovered.

House searches were then conducted and the police discovered in the home of one of the two individuals:

- 320 grams of cocaine unconditioned

- 18 pouches (16.2 grams)

- 3 precision scales

- Hundreds of euros and dollars.

The individual in whoms home the search was positive, was placed in custody on the premises of the territorial brigade of Saint Barthelemy.

SISTER CITY TALLAHASSEE, united States of America - Tallahassee City Manager Anita Favors Thompson announced that she will retire effective November 20, 2015.

“When I became City Manager in 1997, I made the commitment to always put people first and to focus on providing the best services possible to meet the needs of our community,” Favors Thompson said.

“Through my 25 years working for the city and through challenges and accomplishments, I’ve never wavered in my belief that a city’s greatest asset is its people. From elected leaders to business owners, from citizens to city staff, we have accomplished so much by working in partnership for a city we love.”

Under Favors Thompson's leadership, the City of Tallahassee has been twice named an All-America City, in 1999 and 2015. It’s Parks and Recreation Department was named the Best in America in 2004, and Tallahassee was honored as a Green City in 2008 for actions to preserve and protect its natural resources.

In 2012, Your Own Utilities became the No.1 Public Utility in America, and this year, the Underground Utilities Department won the prestigious Governor’s Sterling Award.

“Tallahassee City Manager Anita Favors Thompson has been a firm supporter of the Tallahassee-St. Maarten partnership since 1999 and the Tallahassee St. Maarten Foundation (TLH-SXMF). The Government of St. Maarten would like to wish her much success in her retirement....She also chose St. Maarten to get married to her husband Larry Thompson, so she has lasting memories of our friendly island having been here several times.

“Bernard Hunt, Russell Bell, Diana Fleming, Calvin Mardembrough, Erno Labega also take time out to wish her much success in the future and also to let her know that our friendship continues. We all have enjoyed a great relationship with Tallahassee our sister city in Florida USA. Her never ending support towards our students with the Links organization was also very important to our Students and Government,” said Executive Director TLH-SXMF Arthur Lugisse.

“She had the opportunity and pleasure to meet with several of our Government officials on many occasions while serving as City Manager of Tallahassee.  Julian Rollocks - Elton Jones -leader of the United People's Party Theodore Heyliger- Leader of Democratic Party Sarah Wescot Williams - Leader National Alliance William Marlin - Maria Buncamper Molanus- Commissioner of Finance Xavier Blackman, Claudette Labega Forsythe head of Study Financing and David Christian represented Commissioner Frans Richardson. She will be missed in that position but remembered for her continuing support of St. Maarten,” Mr. Lugisse said.

During Favors Thompson’s years as City Manager, the landscape of the Tallahassee area has changed, growing from 135,000 to more than 200,000 in population. She has managed a diverse staff of 2,800 employees and overseen a budget of $706.1 million. Tallahassee has one of the most complex city organizations in the nation, providing electric, natural gas, water, sewer, police, fire and transit services; an international airport; and a full range of community facilities. Key priorities over the last 20 years include the Trousdell Gymnastics and Aquatics Center, Jack McLean Park, Cascades Park, Gaines Street and associated retail/housing, downtown enhancements (Kleman Plaza, Chain of Parks, new developments), Blair Stone Road, Capital Circle improvements, and the upcoming unveiling of FAMU Way. Programs were implemented to help lower utility costs, including the Neighborhood REACH Program that has assisted more than 10,000 families with a variety of home improvements.

“As I reflect on all that has been accomplished, I’m proud to have been a part of helping to create an even more vibrant community and a place I will forever call home,” Favors Thompson added. 

A native of Kansas, Favors Thompson moved to Tallahassee in February 1990 to serve as an Assistant City Manager working with City Manager Dan Kleman. She was appointed Senior Assistant City Manager in 1994 and then named City Manager by the Tallahassee City Commission on April 1, 1997. Prior to that, she held a variety of city and state government positions in Kansas.

At the April 29, 2015, City Commission Workshop, Assistant City Manager Ricardo Fernandez was named City Manager in Training by the City Commission. The timeframe and details for hiring a new city manager will be determined by the City Commission.

City Manager since April, 1997, she is responsible for administration of all city services, encompassing 2,810 City employees, an operating budget of $689.2 million and a five-year capital improvement plan of $764 million.

Under City Manager Favors Thompson's leadership, in June of 1999, the City of Tallahassee was named an "All America" City, its Parks and Recreation Department was named the Best in America in 2004, and Tallahassee was named a Green City in 2008 for actions to preserve and protect its natural resources. Within City government, she has focused staff on excellent customer service and ethical behavior, and Tallahassee residents have repeatedly expressed strong support for quality City services with an 80 percent approval rating in citizen surveys.

Her professional experience included a variety of top management positions including Executive Director of the Area Agency on Aging in Kansas City; Assistant to the Finance Commissioner in Kansas City, Kansas; Assistant City Administrator, Kansas City, Kansas; Commissioner of Adult Services for the Kansas State Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services; Senior Assistant City Manager, City of Tallahassee; and her current role as City Manager for the City of Tallahassee. In her current position as City Manager since April, 1997, she is responsible for administration of all city services, encompassing 2,810 City employees, an operating budget of $689.2 million and a five-year capital improvement plan of $764 million.

Under City Manager Favors Thompson's leadership, in June of 1999, the City of Tallahassee was named an "All America" City, its Parks and Recreation Department was named the Best in America in 2004, and Tallahassee was named a Green City in 2008 for actions to preserve and protect its natural resources. Within City government, she has focused staff on excellent customer service and ethical behavior, and Tallahassee residents have repeatedly expressed strong support for quality City services with an 80 percent approval rating in citizen surveys. Ms. Favors Thompson has served on the Board of Directors for Public Technology, Inc., the International City/County Management Association and the National Forum for Black Public Administrators, and as Vice President and member of the Florida City/County Management Association. She is also a former board member of United Way and served as the 2008 Regional Chair, served as Co-Chair of the Tallahassee Heart Walk with her husband Larry in 2007 and has been a volunteer and board member of Tallahassee Habitat for Humanity. She is a member of the Alumnae chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and Bethel AME Church.

Ms. Favors Thompson has received two gubernatorial appointments: She was appointed to the Government Accountability to the People Commission from 1992 to 1994 by the late Florida Governor Lawton Chiles, and was appointed to the Kansas Commission on Civil Rights from 1982 to 1985 by Kansas Governor John Carlin.

Ms. Favors Thompson is married to Larry Thompson. She has three adult children.

PHILIPSBURG, St. MaartenIn a bid to attract the best and brightest candidates in St. Maarten to the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs, the newly appointed minister Emil Lee has taken the unconventional step of opening a public recruitment process and advertising for the different positions at his cabinet in the ministry.  
Breaking the unwritten but time-honored rule of incoming ministers picking a cabinet mostly from their pool of political supporters, Lee has reasserted his commitment to making the country of St. Maarten better. "From day one, we want to do things differently," he explained. "This is the time to put the interests of the country above the interests of politics. 
 
As long as you are committed to making St Maarten a better place to live and willing to put country above self, we want you on the team.  These persons, I believe can be found across the political spectrums, the DP included.”
At the helm of the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs, Lee has vowed to lead the initiative to empower and support the ministry's staff.  At the same time, he has acknowledged this progress can only be achieved through a collaborative effort. "By making the ministry open," he added, "not only do we make it more transparent for citizens to see how their money is being spent, we also encourage collaboration, stimulate creativity and promote innovation within the ministry."
Lee's background in the tourism industry might make him a surprise choice to guide the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs but his successful track record and his well known conviction that St. Maarten's great tourism product must translate into a better lifestyle actually ensure a perfect transition.
 
For many years Lee has been advancing the idea that the best way to boost tourism, the main driver of the country's economy, is through policies that make St. Maarten the best place to live in the world and by default makes St Maarten the best place to visit. "And there is no better place to make a positive impact on the everyday life of the people than through the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs," he concluded.
On his first day at the job, Minister Lee wanted to thank the Coalition for their trust and confidence. "Especially, I want to thank the Leader of the DP party, Sarah Wescot-Williams, for embracing me and the ides I brought to the DP as a new candidate in the 2014 election and now allowing me the opportunity to bring openness, transparency and new ideas to government," he said.
By this action, the DP demonstrates not only to “talk the talk, but also to walk the walk”; the walk of inclusion and social cohesion amongst all persons living on our beautiful island.
The Minister closed with a heartfelt message to the people of St. Maarten: "you have my pledge that I will do my best to make the Ministry of VSA a model of openness and efficiency that delivers the most value to you, the people we represent."

Resumes may be sent to the Minister at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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