Government outlined priorities

The Daily Herald writes that the new Island Council of Saba was sworn in Thursday. The outgoing Island Council had its final meeting at 10:00am, with outgoing member Amelia Nicholson of Windward Island People’s Movement (WIPM) giving her farewell speech. Nicholson was an Island Council Member for four years.

In the following meeting, the members of the new Island Council were sworn in. Taking their seats were Chris Johnson, Bruce Zagers and Rolando Wilson of the WIPM fraction. Ishmael Levenston and Monique Wilson of Saba Labour Party (SLP) also took their seats in the new Council. The oath of office was read by Acting Registrar Menno van der Velde. Every new Island Council Member then held a speech.

The Island Council met again at 2:00pm to appoint the new members of the Executive Council. The Council voted to reappoint Bruce Zagers and Chris Johnson as Commissioners in the new Executive Council for another four-year term. As the Executive Council Members vacated their seats in the Island Council, WIPM party candidates number 4 and 5, Carl Buncamper and Eviton Heyliger moved up on the list and took up their positions in the Council.

Johnson announced that Zagers was appointed WIPM party president on Tuesday. Wilson will remain party leader. Zagers elaborated in his speech on the upcoming governing accord for the period of 2015-2019. He mentioned the WIPM government has made an outline of priorities, which are broadly described in the governing accord. This accord will be worked out in further detail and a final document will be prepared after individual interviews have been conducted with WIPM party members. The accord is to be finalized and presented to the Island Council before May 31.

Amongst other things, the accord states that the government views the upcoming constitutional evaluation as one of the main priorities of the upcoming term. The relevant laws, which govern Saba’s constitutional status, must be closely analysed and improved where needed. The WIPM government finds that major improvements can be made in fields such as social levels, cost of living, tax structure, immigration procedures, customs and health insurance.

The island government has recently hired a public health doctor through special funding for a period of three years for implementation of a new Public Health Plan. Many other ongoing projects were also mentioned in the draft-accord, among which are the upgrade of the airport, the Windwardside parking lot, new school buildings, the recycling programme and more.

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