POA FRIGHTENING STATE OF AFFAIRS Due to abiding pressures from the general public, I am forced at this time to address some disheartening issues that are plaguing us Nevisians and residents here on island. Things have gotten to a point where who aren’t crying out loudly are binding and stifling themselves amidst the ever increasing debacles that we are facing. The cost of living has skyrocketed and constantly continues to escalate which is totally contrary to what Nevisians were promised by our present government prior to them being elected in 2006. Plus, added governmental expenses have hit an alarming high while some of those responsible for managing the affairs of our island seem to be enjoying joyrides and mammoth privileges for themselves and families. Unemployment figures must have gone up tremendously during the process and the future looks threatening. Recent happenings have caused us to reflect on the prophetic word of the late Malcolm E. Guishard when he clearly begged Nevisians not to allow NRP to get in office to run the affairs of Nevis. He warned and clearly stated, “And let me tell you something, if this government ever change, woe be unto the people of this country. “And I am telling you, that we cannot allow this to happen in this Nevis of ours. “We cannot afford Yearwood, Gaskell must not run this country and it would happen if you vote for the NRP. “They are going to sit in council over you. They going be the advisors, they are the ones who will determine what happens in this country and all that we have fought for, for so many, many years, all the sacrifices which we have made as a people to get where we are today, will be for nought because we will be going back right where we left off.” This seems to have come true as the Nevis Island Administration has decided to pay Mr. James Gaskell a huge sum in excess of $230,000 to settle out of court a claim that many agree should have been decided by a judge. That was for property cleared of boulders by the NIA in 2005. The boulders blocked a passage of road that is presently cleared and allows free vehicular passage to and from Montpellier via Brown Hill. That blunder by the Nevis Island Administration has created constant debates and shock among Nevisians. The event is even more critical as the financial status on island and with the NIA in particular, is clearly depressing. Just recently it was announced that there would be no more subsidy for the private sector on the fuel surcharge from NEVLEC. This last straw seems to break our backs at this point because residents felt some comfort knowing that government was trying to absorb some of the burden thrust upon us. Alas! That assistance no longer exists. We are also looking at personal family homes being built from the coffers of NHLDC for their hierarchy while that corporation is struggling to find out where the missing $750,000 has gone. Similar cries from other governmental offices and agencies are also being heard during these times. The constant buzz around seems to suggest that the vast majority of Nevisians are desperately awaiting the return of a Vance Amory-led CCM Administration back to running the affairs of the island. The present leaders appear not to have a clue as to how to run an effective government and as a result the whole island is suffering. Morale has drastically fallen, prestige seems absent and residents are being frustrated at every corner. Our leaders have proven that they are running the country’s affairs for reasons other than the betterment of our people and the whole island in general. Sadly, also, both American Eagle and WINAIR are expected to halt travel to the island within the next two months. One would have hoped that strong negotiations would have taken place by tourism representatives and whoever else in the administration capable of helping to keep these airlines rendering service to Nevis. The Vance W. Amory International Airport, in decline for the past 3 years and already underutilized is facing even more difficult times. The taxi drivers are feeling the pinch. The tourism industry that we seriously depend on is failing and with the present leadership seemingly unable or unwilling to negotiate with airlines to service Nevis effectively, the situation is paralyzing. Talks that the advisor to the government in this function has personal interest in airport lands and a proposed marina close to the airport. In this conflict of interest situation, is he making serious attempts to push his personal agenda? Finances on our island are drying up and the government itself seems to be out of resources. The pleas of former premier Vance Amory for the NIA to curb its wanton spending has fallen on deaf ears from ever since the carelessness started in 2006. Today the majority of residents are feeling the brutal brunt of the reckless spending seen here on our island. The official layoffs at the Four Seasons Resort were expected and the day arrived on March 2nd. There will be a ripple effect as more than 600 unemployed individuals out of an island population of 12,000 now takes the unemployment level to a height not seen here on this lovely little island within the past five decades. Although we Nevisians are resilient by nature, these pressing issues continue to pile up and will soon reach breaking point. Now, what else is happening? Local school teachers are running scare at present and it seems as though the treatment dished out towards them have driven some into different areas and as a result, schools are understaffed and less local teachers are in the class rooms. The situation with the hospital and nurses is quite similar. The ongoing saga at NASPA continues to rage and nothing seems to be able to stop it. That concerns very much as NASPA was riding high and clean up until July 10, 2006. It was even lauded proudly by premier Parry shortly he took office. Today it seems in shambles and work ethics and morals are at its lowest. Good employees are leaving while chaos reigns at NASPA. Customs department that has been the pivotal part of Nevis finances continues. Rumor that a key person in that department will imminently be victimized has caused great concerns and no doubt the integrity of that department will be compromised when that happens. Will there be gas storage in Charlestown in the near future? It is said that Shell will return to the facilities and the hazardous operations there in the heart of town will resume. It is rumored that a plan is brewing to cut government employees salary some 7.5% on the basis that funds to continue paying them is drying up. No rumor though of government ministers leading by example and cutting their own salaries and perks, nor any move to reduce the number of highly paid advisors that appear to be doing nothing essential in line of their duties. Moreover, more and more residents are saying Hold On! Only two more years left. NEVLEC also seems in turmoil. The close knitted relationships there are affecting some who have chosen to do their work without siding with other in devious matters. Now the latest rambling is that the present Joseph Parry lead NRP government is about to launch a Commission of Inquiry on the former administration, targeting mainly, the esteemed Honorable Vance Amory. This is estimated to cost a whooping amount of money, money that the Nevis Island Government do not presently have. Neither have they put forth any proposal for raising finances from since they entered office in July 2006. With a minimum hourly cost of $3,000.00 plus added expenses, one wonder what any human being can expect to find on the good gentleman who has lived a life of exemplary integrity. Massive spending is taking place and the dollars are not visible within the community, except for the ministers who are taking on other tasks, some of which are directly in conflict with their ministerial portfolios. Nepotism, conflict of interest and abominable acts of disgrace rule high here on Nevis at present and we anxiously await a return of decency within government for all Nevisians and residents on this island of ours.
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