Saturday , December 3 2022

Wilson questions Executive Council

Windward Islands People’s Movement fraction leader Councilman Rolando Wilson has submitted a barrage of questions for the Executive Council’s response, writes The Daily Herald.

Wilson reiterated his question on development projects and incentives created by the executive branch to attract investors. He questions if the island has a development plan that could be shared and if new facilities are envisioned for Well’s Bay beach area including use of solar panel street lights along that road. He asks if any action was taken on the “buy-back programme for goat meat” and notes that “there is nothing stipulated in the budget for this in order for it to start back.” He wants to know if the Executive Council has received clarification from Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) about its business prospects and if anything is being done to bring back MoneyGram and Western Union services.

Related to the business environment and lacking public notary services he asks if the executive has approached Dutch Caribbean based providers and if a Saba representative has been appointed on the supervisory board of the St. Maarten Kadaster. He wonders if the Ministry of Economic Affairs had timely informed the executive on the Bonaire company’s takeover of Saba’s postal office services. He wants confirmation that the St. Maarten postal services provider was invited to bid. He also seeks clarity on the controversy surrounding the replacement of Kingdom Representative Wilbert Stolte and its impact on Saba.

Concerning social challenges he queried if the Economic Affairs ministry has developed a plan to address the local high cost of living. He is concerned about the legal implications of sick-leave for persons on social short-term “no work, no pay” contracts.

He wants the executive to promote locals into police and customs officer positions and requests an update on the upgrading of harbour personnel and the security department.

Wilson is alarmed about the Caribbean Netherlands social housing foundations having to pay property taxes. He wonders if the executive could allocate funds for the various community churches, especially the Anglican Church which seeks to secure a priest.

The executive’s update is requested on the subsidy ordinance approved last year. He asks that a board be installed to oversee the Sunny Valley Youth Centre once renovations are finalized and asks “who is the caretaker of Juliana’s Sportsfield.”

Wilson reiterated his question on civil code article 5.24 if all properties on Saba claimed by people, officially belong to the Island Government.

He asks if the focus has changed from quantity to the quality of available drinking water.

He requests copies of the appraisal reports on the government’s property at Captain’s Quarters and seeks an update on the executive’s offer to purchase.

Concerning the NV GEBE transition into the new Saba Electricity Company the councilman wants to know who will provide the technical support, if the by-laws have been notarized and if the nominated board members have accepted the positions. He asks for an update on status of employee transition, on the implementation of the underground cabling project and its expected completion time-frame. He inquired into the island’s prospects for solar energy, its ability to secure diesel fuel supply and into the utility company’s ability to generate multi-annual operating plans. If the new company will operate at a loss, who will cover the deficit? Wilson asked.

The councilman would like updates on the expansion implementation and possible merger of the medical centre and the home for the elderly. Should the expansion master-plan not include adjacent road resurfacing, he requests this be addressed. Wilson needs clarification on the responsibilities of the Health Insurance Office ZVK and those of Colombian health insurer Coomeva with regards to medical referral trips there. Wilson is under the impression that Sabans accompanying a patient are not insured while there, adding that the “daily allowance is different per island” and that “Saba receives the smallest amount.” The insurance covers emergency medical expenses while traveling abroad, not routine checkups but Wilson asks “if the [attendant-Ed] falls ill, why should they have to return first to the island before being able to see the doctor?” Wilson complains that the medical referral travel allowance of US $112 for two persons for two days is insufficient. He would like the executive to appoint a committee to investigate related practices.

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