New Kingdom Representative for Saba, St. Eustatius and Bonaire Gilbert Isabella has paid his first working visit to Saba since he recently took office on September 1. This writes The Daily Herald. He arrived September 14 and paid visits to the Kingdom Department for the Dutch Caribbean (RCN) Departments; Customs, Tax Office, Fire Department, Health Insurance Office, Centre for Youth and Family, Immigration and Naturalization Service. Meetings were also held with Island Governor Jonathan Johnson, Commissioners Chris Johnson and Bruce Zagers, Chairman of the Domestic Committee Rolando Wilson, the Saba Business Association, the Saba Merchants Association and the Netherlands Senior Managers Coordinator PUM currently visiting Saba. Fraction leader of the Saba Labour Party in the Island Council Ishmael Levenstone was unable to meet him, although they spoke twice by phone.
Prior to this visit, he also visited Statia and held similar talks with relevant stakeholders there. In a speech delivered at a welcome reception at the RCN Building September 19, Isabella expressed that his many encounters with elected leaders, entrepreneurs, department representatives and children provided him “with a good understanding of what is happening and what the people of the island themselves find important.” He discussed challenges and opportunities, as well as “creative and practical approaches can be used to arrive at solutions” with these stakeholders.
In acknowledging that the three islands each have their own culture, characteristics, challenges and opportunities, he said, “I trust that you will give me the opportunity to learn more about the realities of Saba, which will enable me to work with you and for you. “I will listen attentively to your views, questions and complaints, in order to be able to do something with them. My message to you is: use me and my network, use the fact that I have direct contact with the representatives in The Hague. As Kingdom Representative, I will endeavour to make a contribution towards finding solutions and taking my responsibility. Let us do this together,” he concluded.