Some will no doubt be surprised by today’s report that Hasani Ellis is tipped as the country’s new Deputy Minister Plenipotentiary to the Netherlands. He ran on the list of the Democratic Party (DP), which was apparently afforded the post during the formation of the incoming white, blue and red coalition.

However, it was argued in the recent past that having such a substitute in The Hague is not really needed and actually a waste of money, because the Cabinet Director at the St. Maarten House can also stand in for the Plenipotentiary Minister when needed. The Cabinet Director happens to be Perry Geerlings, also a DP candidate and next in line to enter Parliament now that fraction member Emil Lee has again been sworn in as Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour.

Perhaps the fact that Geerlings has indicated an interest in returning to St. Maarten and occupying his legislative seat may have had something to do with the nomination of Ellis. In that case it might be worth considering not appointing a successor to Geerlings, at least for the time being, and thus avoid too much increase in cost.

After all, if the director was able to effectively replace the acting Minister in a satisfactory manner, the same should in principle be possible the other way around, with the help of staff. That would probably make Finance Minister Richard Gibson, but also taxpayers in general, quite happy.

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