The Daily Herald reports about discussions in the Central Committee meeting in which a quorum was reached despite the absence of WIPM-members Eviton Heyliger and Amelia Nicholson. Present were Committee Chairman Rolando Wilson and Carl Buncamper (both WIPM) and Saba Labour Party SLP) opposition leader Ishmael Levenston. Lt. Governor Jonathan Johnson, the commissioners Chris Johnson and Bruce Zagers attended the meeting. Wilson welcomed visiting Registrar Hans Van Berkel of Reusel/De Mierden municipality in the south of The Netherlands. Saba’s Acting Island Council Registrar Akilah Levenstone is training under his supervision. Wilson called on all elected officials to be present in upcoming meetings with important issues on the agenda, such as the 2014 budget and the upcoming meetings with the Island Councils of Bonaire and Saba.
The first proposal to be discussed was the Island Ordinance Administrative Assistance. Buncamper pointed out that the “separate support for fractions would require an extra budget,” and wanted to know why the Executive Council had decided not to provide any funds. The Island Governor has the final decision on (administrative) assistance required by Island Council members. He asked what recourse members have if assistance is denied. Buncamper also called for the inclusion of an article to review the ordinance and set a timeframe to adopt amendments if deemed necessary.
Opposition leader Levenston sought clarification on the administrative assistance, and the proper channel to obtain government information, and seized the opportunity to complain about the lack of cooperation by Island Secretary Menno van der Velde. Levenston called for a motion “to bring this Island Secretary to order.” Chairman Wilson cut Levenston short on this statement and said these frustrations should be voiced in the Presidium and behind closed doors.
Buncamper’s inquiries are to be answered by the Executive Council by Friday, before the Island Council meeting.
The draft Public Participation Ordinance was wellreceived as it is already in effect.
The debate on draft statutes of Saba Electric Company NV received a lengthy timeslot. Buncamper wanted to know why the Executive Council had chosen the option of a public limited company (NV), instead of a private limited company (BV). Commissioner Johnson gave an extensive presentation not only on the statutes, but also on the various related developments with further information to be made available during Friday’s Island Council meeting.
Similarly, deliberations took place on the policy document for a buffer capital, a topic on which Commissioner Zagers gave a briefing.
The Budget Amendments 2013 passed with ease, while the proposal on the Joint Audit Chamber for Bonaire, Statia and Saba was closely scrutinized, specifically about concerns that Bonaire would be favoured to Saba and Statia’s disadvantage.