So we are to get a third reincarnation of the “litter wardens.” What happened to the previous two times they were appointed? Were they paid? Are they still being paid? What will they be paid now? What did/do they do? As far as I remember, they did not have vehicles and their terms of reference were poorly defined, and I believe they got abuse from people they tried to stop littering. This is a hopeless task unless you can actually catch and photograph someone in the act of littering.

It’s all very well paying lip service to Earth Day with a great list of theoretical promises, but in reality very few things will happen.

 

ESHS project

Four contracts were awarded to four contractors for four floors of the L-shaped building refurbishment at the Elmore Stoutt High School. That’s bad enough, especially bypassing the Recovery and Development Agency and admitting giving jobs to the boys.

But in addition, there is a fifth contract for the air-conditioning system. Has it been defined what type of system will be installed? Will it be individual wall/window units? Or split units? Or a central plant? Either way, it will require four lots of negotiations with the contractors on each floor to ensure adequate power capacity, wiring, sockets, controls and building works to accommodate the units.

A central plant especially will need a location (ground or roof) and masses of ducting through the ceilings on each floor, together with individual room temperature controls. I can’t see it being completed in time for the next school year, and hope it does not become such a debacle as the system at the Eileene L. Parsons auditorium at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College. It was years before that was completed. In essence, it would have been better to appoint one main contractor, who would issue a subcontract to an air-conditioning company. At least then there would be only one set of negotiations instead of four.

 

Customs boat

The repaired customs boat Predator was rededicated recently, presumably at the police marine base. This just happens to be next to the Virgin Islands Search and Rescue base, and whoever wrote the press release saw fit to purloin the name of the VISAR base, which is named after my wife. Whilst VISAR and I are glad of the publicity, neither they nor I was involved in this ceremony. Government Information Services, or whoever, should check their facts before issuing statements.

 

RDA issues

Bloggers and radio show hosts think the Recovery and Development Agency is a waste of time and should be done away with, or circumvented as much as possible. Given our track record over the years, do they think that international institutions will be willing to lend us up to $400 million without some checks and balances? What do we actually have to show for the billions — yes, billions — that have flowed into here over the years? Roads, sewerage, schools, poorly constructed buildings, cost overruns, blatant cronyism, lost litigation due to incompetence on the part of government officers, and an overstaffed civil service on a non-contributory pension scheme. The list goes on, and we are proud of our progress.

I wish the new government well, but from their performance so far I fear that we have to keep a watchful eye on them.

I’m looking forward to the publication of Claude Skelton-Cline’s wide-ranging consultancy report.


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