Published On: Fri, Oct 21st, 2016

STA does not want Brison as director

brison-12GREAT BAY – The supervisory council of the St. Maarten Tourism Authority does not support the appointment of Rolando Brison as its director, the board said in a press statement issued yesterday. “Under the current conditions, given information obtained since the interview of Brison and based on the articles of incorporation the supervisory council cannot and will not support the appointment of Brison,” the press release states.

When news about Brison’s pending selection as the top candidate for the job emerged from a photo-op with Tourism and Economic Affairs Minister Ingrid Arrindell and her puppet master MP Silvio Matser, criticism poured in from all sides.

Documents, of which this newspaper obtained copies in August, show that Brison embezzled more than $41,000 from his former employer Winair. A couple a days after this became public, Minister Arrindell sent out a press release in which she says that she “stands behind the decision of the selection committee.”

Now it appears from the press statement issued by the supervisory council of the STA that there is a different aside to this story.

The council says that it was part of the selection committee and that it offered its evaluation of all candidates. “It should be mentioned however, that not all six members of the selection committee independently scored Brison the highest, as has been reported in press releases.”

But in a press release issued on August 18, Minister Arrindell described Brison as “a highly intelligent, dynamic, committed, and fully qualified individual,” and claimed indeed that all six members of the selection committee had given Brison the highest score.

The council furthermore notes that there was an agreement to vet the top three candidates and to take a decision about the appointment after this process was completed. “Nonetheless, an offer was presented to Rolando Brison prior to any vetting process.”

The council furthermore makes mincemeat of the notion that Brison has been offered a 1-year contract, beginning on September 1. “The tourism authority urgently needs to coordinate and execute the much needed marketing efforts for the destination, but it should be noted that the STA still has no budget, as funds have not been transferred from the ministry’s marketing budget for the purpose of the day to day operation of the STA.”

The supervisory council has apparently given up on the current minister, because it concludes its press release with the remark that it is looking forward to meet with the incoming government “seeking their input in identifying the marketing needs and objectives for the country and to tackle these through the efforts of the STA.”

Photo caption: Rolando Brison is not welcome as the director of the STA. Photo contributed