Published On: Sun, Dec 10th, 2017

Attention government officials and residents of Sint Maarten

Alegria entrance parking lot refuge

Dear All,

I write these words with a heavy heart. The destructive damage caused by Irma has affected us all. Our country and communities have come together to help each other. I have seen feuding neighbors set aside their differences to work together. The theme of Sint Maarten is people helping people. The powerful force of Hurricane Irma has affected each and every one of us. Many of us have lost our homes, cars, loved ones and mental balance. I believe that we as a nation can recover, rebuild and restore the island to it’s former beauty. There are currently many people working tirelessly to make the island safe for it’s economical support system of tourism.

We survived the biggest recorded hurricane in the Atlantic basin. We survived looters with guns. I truly believe we will recover, but this is dependent on mutual cooperation. Not just from our government, but our neighbors and fellow citizens of the friendly island.

There is nothing friendly happening at Alegria Boutique hotel located next to Sunset Bar in Maho.

Owner and operator of Alegria does not think or feel as I described above. In fact, Rafik Sidhom has decided to take an alternative approach. Mr. Rafik Sidhom has made a decision that affects the lives of residents of the neighboring property, local islanders and yes even his own employees. His refusal to restore basic utilities to a residential building located next to Alegria has placed many people in danger, including my wife and I.

The court has even ordered him to restore utilities and will impose $10,000.00 a day non-compliance fees if he keeps actively denying utility services.

His decision is contributing to Alegria’s pre-existing water contamination problems.

Prior to Irma, Alegria was one of several hotels that tested positive for legionella.

In an email correspondence, Rafik Sidhom denies the presence of legionella.

He is clearly lying in print as a local media source addressed the water issues while specifically listing Alegria as hotel that tested positive for a bacteria posing serious health risks for any person that is supplied water from Alegria.

Refuge/Sunset, Taco Macho, and the resident building are supplied water from said contaminated source.

This is not just about angry home owners or renters. It is about not allowing this kind of business behavior to happen anymore in Sint Maarten.

If Ray continues down his path of reckless destruction, it will send a poor message to our community and directly affects tourism. Think about it. Who wants to vacation and worry about getting poisoned?

There is no room for poor business ethics and decisions made by foreign investors that care for nothing but the profit they make.

If something is not done to stop his business dealings, it is just a matter of time before the “Rafik Sidhom’s” of the world to come to our country, break laws, poison locals, refuse to comply with court orders and do as they please because they feel their money shields them from the laws of the island. We are not in the wild west. I am certain that there is not a single person on the island that wants the Ray Sidhom mentality to infect their neighborhood.

My wife and I should not be living in fear of what this tyrant is capable of doing. We should not be forced out of our home or country because Ray seeks control of things that are not his to control.

This letter barely scratches the surface of what this mentally unstable business man has done and will continue to do without government intervention. I can not sit idly by while this man poisons people with his lies and through Alegria’s water supply.

Brian Schider