Published On: Sat, Dec 3rd, 2022

Being busy

This week Minister Doran caught my attention with a very interesting statement. He said during an interview on Thursday with Lady Grace on The Breakfast Lounge that and I quote “There is a systematic approach to keep me busy and to prevent progress.”

See related article: Minister Doran: “There is a systematic approach to keep me busy and to prevent progress”

That statement was enough to inspire me to listen to the rest of the interview and to publish an article about it. Listening to the rest of the interview confirmed a phenomenon I have been noticing with other ministers as well such as Anna Richardson and Ardwell Irion: the longer they remain in their positions as ministers, the more confident they are becoming and are starting to own their positions as ministers.

All these ministers are faced with enormous limitations due to budgetary constraints, but slowly but surely they are realizing that financial constraints do not limit a minister from having a vision and doing all possible to implement it.

The Minister of Justice is seeking to implement the function books at the end of the year and finally after 12 years to regulate the legal positions of the civil servants in the justice departments. This despite the lack of funding for the financial consequences. No mean feat.

Minister of Finance is facing the heavy burden of balancing the budget. At the very least, staying within the boundaries of the limits set and monitored by the CFT. He has to bring the financial statements up to date and he has to cut costs across all ministries in order to make room for badly needed capital investments. King Solomon had better choices to make.

Lastly, Minister of VROMI is facing a multitudes of challenges, as many as there are potholes in the roads of St. Maarten. His biggest challenge is that he only has available 20% of the monies needed in his dream budget to get everything done within his ministry.

What does this tell me? What should this tell us as a people of St. Maarten? It is all hands on deck, people.

As a country we need to set priorities and execute policies from that perspective. And the number one priority should be revenue-generating policies such as jumpstarting the economy, job creation, boosting the economy through economic activities such as construction, tourism development, sports tourism, community development, and spearheading the (re)development of certain sectors through education and training. The entrepreneurial programs being promoted through the ministries of TEATT and Finance are programs that will in the long run bear fruit. But we need to set the priorities for these objectives today. Not tomorrow.

So I agree with Minister Egbert Doran: Being busy doesn’t mean you are making progress. Quite the contrary!

Terrance Rey
Publisher StMaartenNews.com