Vinaora Nivo Slider 3.xVinaora Nivo Slider 3.xVinaora Nivo Slider 3.x
Vinaora Nivo Slider 3.x

SMN News Persons of the Year.

~The hardest working Minister and MP: Minister of VSA Omar Ottley and MP Rolando Brison.~

omarecottley28122023PHILIPSBURG: --- It is that time of the year when the media around the world will make scorecards for people who stand out to the community they live in and the world at large.
The task of identifying people who stood out every year is indeed tedious because there are people who also stood out for their negativity. We are the only media house on St. Maarten/St. Martin also highlights the negative because Persons of the Year is not only about being positive, but it is for those who stand out during the entire year.
SMN News also opted not to focus on the year 2023 alone since the populace will be heading to the polls on January 11th, 2024, and there is no better time to actually score those that performed during the entire 4-year term they so often boast about.

This year SMN News chose to highlight two persons who did not pocket the taxpayer’s money and sit by idly, in fact, the two people SMN News opted to highlight and give credit to are people who worked and earned the salary paid to them by taxpayers.
We start with Minister of VSA Omar Ottley who took office during the pandemic, to be precise on April 21st, 2021, Ottley, whose screening delayed his entry to office hit the ground running to bring the spread of the COVID-19 virus under control. He was the only Minister that was able to positively communicate with the people including visitors to St. Maarten thereby reducing the spread until COVID-19 was no longer a threat to St. Maarten. One of the best decisions Ottley took was to reopen businesses when many thought businesses should remain closed due to the fear created by the spread of the virus and the lives the deadly virus claimed on St. Maarten and around the world. Ottley also launched a nationwide drive vaccination campaign in collaboration with key stakeholders to protect the population, with this project he managed to vaccinate 85% of the population.

It was because of the decisions taken by Ottley that businesses on St. Maarten were able to bounce back. Those who depended on SSRP could have gotten off in no time, causing our economy to bounce back way before many others.
Another achievement for Ottley was the indexation to the minimum wage which had not seen an increase in over ten years. He made a promise to the people on the campaign trail and kept that promise when he entered office, even though the process was tedious, and he was forced to collect data in order to make the increase possible he got it done. He also managed to increase the old age pension, something most politicians forget when they entered office.
Another great achievement for Ottley was the continued construction of the New General Hospital which did not really kick off until Ottley intervened and placed harsh conditions on the contractors. While the construction is not going the way everyone would have liked, the truth is things have gotten better at the construction site.
Ottley also increased the sickness and accident insurance wage limits established in the Sickness Insurance Ordinance/Ziektekostenverzekering to 120,000; to improve the state of healthcare funds.

The young and vibrant Minister of Labor and Health also signed off on the purchase of 6,267 m2 of land in St. John’s Estate, for the Mental Health Foundation with the support of Ministry VSA, the project for construction was approved by the World Bank, and NRPB to develop a state-of-the-art facility that will meet the mental health care needs of the population.
The achievements mentioned in this article for Omar Ottley it is only the tip of the iceberg for a minister who was robbed of more than a year from office as his screening process took a lengthy court procedure before he was allowed to take the oath of office.
Besides his accomplishments as Minister of Labor and Health Omar Ottley managed the Ministry of VSA and the Ministry of TEATT singlehandedly for 10 months because the screening of the current Minister of TEATT took quite some time while the previous Minister left office for medical reasons. Ottley manned the two Ministries from April 2022 to January 2023. 


Click here to view the list of Accomplishments of Minister Omar Ottley for the three years he served as a Minister.


And the Leader of the United People’s Party, person of the year is none other than Member of Parliament Rolando BRISON.


rolandobrison29112023SMN News also opted to recognize Member of Parliament Rolando Brison for his dedication and accomplishments during his tenure as a Member of Parliament.
MP Rolando Brison one of the youngest Members of Parliament who was elected by the people of St. Maarten is the only member of parliament who did not look for his own selfish gain when he did everything humanly possible to maintain the full term of the National Alliance/ United Peoples Party coalition government for its full term of four years.
The only government in 13 years that sat for a full term of four years, by accomplishing this feat Brison was able to save the country money and also save the country from more embarrassment. Brison was the one to secure the cooperation of the two independent members of parliament Akeem Arrindell and Chanel Brownbill when the rumors began that at least two Members of Parliament who were part of the United Peoples Party would declare themselves independent for their own selfishness and to create instability for the country and its people.
While the government lasted a full four years not many in the current coalition could boast of their achievements.
There were many scandals that MP Brison was not afraid to highlight on the floor of parliament even though he supported the coalition for its full term. He questioned Ministers he supported whenever he felt that the people of St. Maarten and himself as a Member of Parliament deserved to know what was taking place in the executive branch.
Even though working hard for the people and his country many people especially those in his political party sabotaged him and undermined the young members of parliament by paying people to record him in his own private space to take away his seat as the chair of parliament. Many thought that those events would have deterred Brison, but the young St. Maarten born son of the soil showed resilience and recouped from every attack. He displayed maturity even though he was the youngest and continued to work in the best interest of his country.
Despite it all MP Rolando Brison still managed to rise above all and was able to draft 23 laws, most of which he tabled on the floor of parliament.
One of the laws that directly benefitted the people of St. Maarten, or the working class was the “Initiative National Ordinance granting an authorization for alienation of the shares belonging to the country of Sint Maarten in the share capital of United Telecommunication Services N.V.
Because of this law, the Government managed to secure 22 million guilders to the coffers of government, and because of this law, for the first time ever justice workers were able to get a payment towards their outstanding salaries.
The second one that made headway was the Banking law that gives all residents of St. Maarten the right to a basic bank account, prevents banks from closing your bank account without first getting permission from the courts, and gives a legal basis for the government to create a consumer banking protection agency.

The draft laws submitted by Member of Parliament Rolando Brison are as follows:

Click here to view the list of draft laws.

Conclusion.
One of the things SMN News would want to point out is that this new year 2024 opens and the populace is called to vote for another set of persons that are supposed to lead this country. It will be necessary for every voter to assess what the current Members of Parliament have done for the country, and what are some of the things the Ministers in government achieved. Some members of parliament boldly said they barked for four long years but failed to bite.
How exactly did the 9 factions in parliament benefit the country or its people? The Minister of Finance has said on several occasions that the current parliament and its 9 factions have been a burden to the country’s budget and its finances. The Electoral Council and the few attendees that attended the Town Hall meeting on amending the Electoral Laws clearly state that the problems are not the laws but those selfish persons who got elected on a political slate and later jumped ship and became independent members of parliament.
It is the very Members of Parliament that criticizes the Dutch for the conditions they placed on the country for its loans are the ones that benefitted the most because they are the ones that plundered the budget of the government of St. Maarten leaving many projects undone.
Many of them were more interested in making deals and when that failed, they voted against everything the coalition presented to parliament. They walked out of meetings in order not to give a quorum, for them it was about politics and not the country or the people they pretended to represent. Those are the very politicians that will continue to convince you that they are the better choice on the eight slates on January 11th, 2024, even though they have not stroked a pen since taking office for the past four years or better yet the past 13 years.
As for some Ministers that are presently in government it is also necessary to score them. Those who criticized the past Ministers for enriching themselves with government lease land and contracts ended up doing worse. In one court verdict, the judge condemned the current Minister of VROMI for doing the very same thing he accused former Ministers of doing when it comes to the distribution of government-leased land. As a result of this verdict, notaries are no longer signing any decrees for land issued by the Ministry.
It is time for the business community to say NO to the politicians who have not worked but just milked the government coffers dry. These people who have postulated elections after elections and did not move one stroke in the interest of the populace should be sent home so they could work and earn a living like everyone else.
One of the things that must be clear is that all 15 Members of Parliament and the 7 Ministers received the same salary from the coffers of the taxpayers. They all benefitted from the free airline tickets paid by the taxpayers, the per diem each time for their endless travel expeditions. These are the people who were able to live above their means and forgot about the people who elected them in the first place.
Right now, as the campaign gets hotter the politicians who are vying for public office will make empty promises, some of them are so good at acting that they will swallow you as they make each voter gullible. People of St. Maarten it is time to become wise and not let others fool you or take advantage of your kindness it’s time to take out your scorecards and on January 11th send those unfit and lazy birds back to their nests.

SMN News takes this time to congratulate the Minister of VSA Omar E. C. Ottley for the recognition he earned, congratulations also go out to Member of Parliament Rolando Brison for his steadfast commitment to the people of St. Maarten.

 

 

 

Vinaora Nivo Slider 3.xVinaora Nivo Slider 3.x

RADIO FROM VOICEOFTHECARIBBEAN.NET

Vinaora Nivo Slider 3.x
Vinaora Nivo Slider 3.xVinaora Nivo Slider 3.x
Vinaora Nivo Slider 3.x
Vinaora Nivo Slider 3.x
Vinaora Nivo Slider 3.x
Vinaora Nivo Slider 3.x