Published On: Mon, Jan 14th, 2019

Need for proper planning on the rebuilding of French St. Martin

Senator Guillaume Arnell

MARIGOT — “There is need for proper planning in the rebuilding of the communities following the devastation of the island by the hurricanes of 2017,” said Senator Guillaume. He explained that among the issues that they are facing are persons who are not qualified to construct buildings are allowed to bid for projects.

This has resulted in serious problems with the repairs to the college in the La Savanne. After nearly 18 months hardly any work has been done that has the parents, teachers and students fuming with the way things are being done. He pointed out that government has the responsibility to ensure that the projects such as schools are carried out to the right specifications and in a timely manner.

He mentioned that when you are on the outside of government, you see everything and criticize them. He reminded the present administration that they were criticized for not performing in their function. “I see now that they are being faced with the same issues and they cannot find the solution,” he noted.

He reminded them that when they had the Orient Bay project to be completed following hurricane Gonzalo his administration had it completed within record time even though they were several hiccups which were engineered by the opposition in the council. “It’s a year and a half after the storms and there is not a shred of construction being done at the Orient Bay,” he said.

The people who occupied the concessions have a right to be angry and dissatisfied since the local persons who occupied the concessions are on a “stand still” while the European people is receiving help. “Regardless if this this is correct or not it seems as though the administration is giving preference to one set of people while the other group is being denied.”

There should be no preferential treatment amongst the people since in every sector they are contributing to the development of the island. He called on the people of the communities to “get up from their laurels” and be more vocal with regard to their convictions.

It was also pointed out that St. Martin voted at the last elections overwhelmingly for Daniel Gibbs and his team and as a result “they are victims of the choices that they made.” He called on the administration to explain to the people their limitations with regard to the rebuilding of the island.

He observed that even though some of the population seem to be able to maintain a certain lifestyle before a disaster after the “dust has settled” and the hurricane has passed they are is some cases worst off than the other people. He has called on the people “to put aside” some of the funds for the difficult times which happens after a storm.

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