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Seek out meaningful cooperation with the Dutch Government

Dear Editor,

I am one proud Democrat. The opportunities for St. Eustatius that are available under the public entity status are far more than was the case under the bankrupt Antillean Constellation. The advancements achieved with improved healthcare and access to healthcare institutions and medical specialists are many times better than the situation before 10-10-10.

We have many living examples of the results. On Sunday, I had the opportunity to hug a grandmother who was flown out to Colombia by means of the emergency response that is in place. When she told me of her experience and the way she was treated and cared for in Colombia, it once again reconfirmed to me that we made the right decision.

The advancements of our education will yield results in the future. Improved education will better prepare our children to face the challenges of tomorrow. The better domination of our mother tongue will afford our students the possibilities to achieve more in greater numbers. The direct investments and expertise from Dutch Ministries is priceless. No amount of name calling or belittling remarks will silence the pen or vocals of the Democratic Part of Statia.

Only people with a limited vocabulary need to resort to name calling and belittling or insulting of their political opponents. One would expect educated people to operate on a higher level. The sharp drop in votes received by the UPC is a clear indication of what the electorate thinks about the UPC party. The policies of the former governing coalition have not led to any tangible improvements on Statia.

Our sister Islands Bonaire and Saba have found a way to reap more benefits from the public entity status than Statia. It has to do mainly with the fact that the sitting and past government will stop at no length to distort the facts to promote their agenda for more autonomy.

The Democratic Party believes in striving for more self sustainability and broadening the economic base of our small Island. It is ludicrous to believe that the Dutch Government would consider giving an Island that can't balance a budget more autonomy. The notion that you want to add people to the payroll with no compensation shows that you don't understand simple budgetary concepts. The fact that your government can't write a simple letter of appeal is a testament to the level of incompetence mentioned in that same letter. The idea that you want to appeal the instruction of the Minister and eventually go to court proves that you don't understand that time is money. The more time we waste, the more precarious our financial situation will be.

Stop fighting the Dutch at every turn and seek out meaningful ways of cooperation. My advice is to subordinate your obvious feelings and sentiments of anger and dislike for the Dutch government and its people and put the interest of Statia people first. Stop experiencing the supervisory role of CFT and Kingdom Representative as a threat, but understand that these checks and balances were put in place to improve the financial management and guard against corruption and illegality.

Our government must learn to truly serve the general interest of our people. The attitude of the DP is not one of submission, but driven by experience, intelligence and continued focus on the interest and benefits to the people of Statia. When faced with challenges, we focus on overcoming them. The sitting government's approach may very well result in 4 years of higher supervision. It is sad to realize that after 4 years, some politicians can't get over the fact that St. Maarten and Curaçao chose to no longer bear the burden of the smaller Islands. Through all the rhetoric and hot air, still no better option has been presented that is better than the public entity status.

Ernie Simmons

One proud Democrat!

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