I decided not to go to Parliament today, I wanted to stay home, edit some carnival videos…. Then someone calls me with some documents concerning today’s Parliament hearing being held by Leona Romeo-Marlin concerning the over saturation of buses on the road. The local drivers are starving, but who gave out those permits in the first place?
The National Alliance is blaming Frankie Meyers, but according to my documents… the MAIN culprits are Louie Laveist (NA) and Romeo Pantophlet, when he was Tourism Minister, working on behalf of Frans Richardson.
So I could’ve gone to Parliament today, but they have internet, and they subscribe to my blogs….
So here are the answers to most of Leona’s questions….
PHILIPSBURG–Government is called on to make the register of bus, taxi and tour-bus permits public and to give an explanation of the current moratorium on issuance of permits for those types of businesses by two Members of Parliament (MPs).
Independent MP Leona Marlin-Romeo said in a press statement issued late Monday night she “wants clarity” on the moratorium. She submitted a request for a meeting on this subject to Chairman of Parliament’s Permanent Committee for Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication MP Frans Richardson (United St. Maarten Party) since February 23.
Marlin-Romeo said despite the moratorium, exceptions were made in the past and permits were still awarded based on the minister’s discretion.
She seeks changes in the permit process and encourages Minister Claret Connor to review the moratorium. She intends to put forward her suggestions for change in the committee meeting when this is convened by Richardson.
Also keen on the permit process and had made a call for the register to be made public is Democratic Party (DP) leader MP Sarah Wescot-Williams. In a press statement of February 23, she said the criteria and policies based on relevant laws “must be public knowledge. The holders of permits must be public knowledge.”
“Nothing withholds government from providing an updated list of taxi, bus and tour-bus permits, car rentals, and other permits. Technology provides an easy means to do so. Factual information also challenges existing perceptions.”
The “general sentiment” is that many permit holders “do not meet the criteria established by law, while others are denied who claim to fit the criteria.”
Wescot-Williams is curious to know how government will curb and/or address this situation.