|MCW meeting provides fodder for comments|
|Written by ROGER HARRIS|
|Wednesday, 30 January 2013 15:41|
Wow! There are a lot of sensible, constructive comments posted on the news websites this week on the parlous state of our infrastructure and development, following the speech by Colin O’Neal at the Ministry of Communications and Works seminar. Many of us have been saying the saame things for years, but it seems no one listens.
I feel quite humbled, but I will continue in my own way!
We discovered some information about the postal system. The United Kingdom international mail centre says that the Virgin Islands has the lowest possible priority, and that all our Christmas mail was sent out in mid-December. That may be so, but it seems that a lot still hasn’t arrived in our post boxes. One of my friends said that maybe his little village post office waited until it had 10 letters for the VI before putting them into the system!
Additionally, we heard that mail from the United States is sent via a private facilitator rather than through the mail!
Those long retired port employees, collecting a pension and a contract wage, have got nerve, and government shows how weak-willed it is by now providing them with an extra three months’ pay to keep them quiet!
Since cruise ship schedules are worked out two to three years in advance, it is a bit disingenuous of the minister to claim the increase so far this season was not accidental but a result of frantic action on the part of government.
So Road Town is to be “developed” by a City Management Board, which may or may not include the city manager! This development will include setting up “vending areas” for more food vendors! Do we really need more chicken wagons cluttering up the sidewalks? Once again, you could not make this up!
This is not the first time the financial secretary has told us of our poor state of finances and how the situation is getting worse, not better. Why doesn’t he say it more often and more forcefully to the government of the day? The ability of our politicians, of all parties, to ignore unwelcome news, or sensible advice, is legendary.
Oil Nut Bay, airport
Now to the ceremony at Oil Nut Bay, to which the great and good seem to have been invited (but not me!).
For the developer to liken the proposed airport expansion to the building of the Panama Canal (yes!) is going a bit far, don’t you think? Perhaps he was referring to the fact that the canal took years to build, and cost thousands of lives? Euphoria makes a lot of people engage mouth before brain!
In the 1950s, Captain Wladek Wagner developed the first airstrip on Beef Island and was accused by one government official of doing it out of his own interests, instead of for the good of the whole territory. One wonders about present-day developers’ real interests in this project.
Whilst the developer is to be congratulated on his donation of $100,000 “to the government for charitable purposes,” in my opinion that is folly. He has been here long enough to know what charitable organisations we have and the needs of certain areas of society (which charities are set up to relieve, provided the new legislation regulating non-profit organisations allows them to do so).
So why didn’t he give the money directly to such organisations? Who knows if and where it will go via government, and will we get an accounting for its use? Have we had an account for the rest of the $750,000 already given? Or shouldn’t we ask? Maybe “government” is the charity?
The plywood surrounding the old pumping station in Road Town is now falling down, and the stack of pipes is growing grass. What is happening?
I see no movement at the new hospital, but the Bougainvillea Clinic extension has now been painted. Neck and neck to the finish? I think not!