Acceptance speech Mr. Zaandam

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Acceptance Speech

I stand before you, deeply touched and inspired by this appointment. With boundless gratitude for the confidence placed in me by this HH and the people of Statia at large.

With an unswerving resolve I honor that trust and I humbly accept the appointment as Commissioner of this new coalition government.


Every new government, especially under these circumstances, comes with a divide among our people. On one hand, many embraces this development. For others it is a sad day. Their hope in the system is slowly fading and their believe in general is at a critical low, because the stable government they envision seems to becoming an illusion.


So, I fully understand that the trust placed in me comes with great responsibility. The hope by many that things will be different. Many has high expectations. Others are convinced that I, as part of this coalition, will have the solution for all the problems facing our island. But may I remind you that I am just human. But I stand here before you and declare commitment, dedication and make you the promise that I will give it my all.


So far you did not hear me use the word CHANGE.Why? Because at this juncture drastic change can have adverse effect on matters. I say this with the following example. Our financial household was a mess and needed to be fixed. Now it is on track. So you see if it is not broken why force to fix it. On behalf of the people of Statia my sincere thanks to ex commissioner Sneek and the staff at Finance.Of course, there are other areas that are on track and therefore we will continue with execution.


Many on the other side will be reserved. They will also be very hesitant to extent a helping hand. There will be mistrust and that too is understandable. To cut through the fog of mistrust is going to require more intensive dialogue. Building bridges must be one of the virtues of this coalition.We will make change where it is necessary.In doing so we will choose wisely, and work together transparently, flexibly and honestly, progress in a few areas now will then lead to progress in many more.


To revitalize our common endeavor is to renew our faith not only in the handouts of Holland, but also in each other. We should demand more of ourselves as well as a people and as your government we will not only listen but rest assured that we will hear you too. This is your government and it will only works if you the people take your responsibility in holding us accountable.

What the UPC brings to this coalition is idealism. It is our greatest strength, but we also know that in this strength lies our weakness or at least an unwillingness to engage fully with the day-to-day experiences and perspectives of the people we serve. The people must be free in following their dream and be steadfast in their aspirations. Government must only support. Therefore, as part of this government of the people, by the people and for the people we are more then aware of the fact that workable solutions need to be grounded in values but also that they must respond to the hopes and fears of reasonable people.


Of course it is understandable that you would like to have an idea what the matters of importance for the next 90 days will be.


A synopsis out of the priority list:

The 2014 budget and maintain a proper financial household
The execution of the alternative medical package
The ongoing infrastructure project
The constitutional process and the preparing of a referendum
GEBE and the water distribution plan
Preparation negotiation NuStar
Build on the relation with Holland
Social package and old age pension
Privatization within Islands Harbor
Engage in talks with our medical school


I am fully aware of the fact that I am taking office at a time during which the hunting season on commissioners is still on, but that will not deter me. It strengthened me and keeps grounded in the believe that I cannot fail the trust placed in me and more over my duty is to make the people of Statia believe again.And if in the near future, I must be measured and found too light, I too will have to pay the Piper.


Yours truly,
Reginald Zaandam

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