After the examination and confirmation of his credentials, Saba Fire Chief Julio Every was sworn in as the island’s newest Island Council Member on Tuesday afternoon by Governor Jonathan Johnson in front of Island Registrar Akilah Levenstone and members of the Island and Executive Councils.
Every will represent Party for Progress, Equality and Prosperity (PEP) on the five-person Island Council. He replaces PEP Island Council Member Hemmie van Xanten, who stepped down for personal and family reasons.
Van Xanten has been notably absent in Island Council meetings since being re-elected in March. Born and raised in Saba, Every has been a member of the Fire Department since 1999. He has risen through the ranks to become Saba’s Fire Chief, a position he will simultaneously fulfil while being an Island Council Member. During his speech on Tuesday, Every thanked the voters, Van Xanten, and PEP. He said he will promote bipartisanship and will not only blindly oppose the ruling Windward Islands People’s Movement (WIPM).
Every also said he has no qualms about “shaking things up” if called to do so, and that he aims to maintain “openness and transparency”.
Every was not next-in-line to represent PEP after Van Xanten’s resignation. This position fell to PEP number three candidate Roland Holm, but he turned down the seat due to health reasons. This made the seat available for number four candidate Every, who received 33 votes in the election earlier this year. This was seven more than Van Xanten and 10.2% of PEP’s 324 total votes.
Saba’s Island Council comprises two PEP members and three from WIPM, which forms the government.
The Daily Herald.