Wednesday , December 6 2023

Saba Island Council meets for the last time in 2013

The Island Council of Saba convened its last meeting for the year 2013 on Wednesday, December 18. The meeting which commenced at 9:00 AM was opened by Island Governor Jonathan Johnson. In attendance were Island Council Members Rolando Wilson, Carl Buncamper, Eviton Heyliger and Ishmael Levenstone. Island Council Member Amelia Nicholson was unable to attend the meeting.
The first proposal on the agenda was for supplementary funds for a playground at Cove Bay. It was explained that the Dutch government will provide some funding for the project through the “Leefbarheidsfonds” and the Island Government will provide the additional funds through its budget. The members of the Island Council expressed unanimous support for this proposal and the motion was passed when the vote was called.
The Audit protocol for the financial statements of the Public Entity of Saba was the next point on the agenda. Commissioner of Finance, Bruce Zagers explained that the protocol was necessary for the island to continue the progress it has made in over the years with its financial management. This motion was passed by general consensus with no Island Council Members indicating any objections.
The 3rd Quarter Budget Amendments was the subsequent agenda item. Commissioner Zagers indicated that the amendment was necessary to maintain efficiency in the financial administration. Some projects that were budgeted for this year but could not be executed were transferred to next year’s budget. This proposal was also passed by general consensus.
The Island Council members of the Island Council were given an opportunity to be heard on the proposal to increase the salaries for the political officials of the Public Entity of Saba. The Minister Plasterk of BZK had requested that the Island Council put forward its position on the proposal.  Island Governor Johnson explained that while the law provides for members of the council to be heard on salary increases, the decision ultimately rests with the Minister of Kingdom Relations, who makes the final determination.
Island Council Member Rolando Wilson elaborated on the process which he said had started immediately after the transition, when it was realized that members of the council had received a significant decrease in compensation. He said that this had been communicated to four consecutive Ministers of Kingdom affairs to no avail. Both Council Member Heyliger and Buncamper also expressed their support. Council Member Ishmael Levenstone stated his opposition to the proposal.
The final agenda point was an update on the recently signed Cooperation Agreement between GEBE and the Saba Electric Company by Commissioner Johnson.
Before the meeting was adjourned the Island Council Members and the Executive Council Members took the opportunity to extend holiday greetings to the people of Saba.

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