Govt. asks GEBE to assign crisis mgt. team as Temmer is ill, can’t function

Govt. asks GEBE to assign crisis mgt. team as Temmer is ill, can’t function

Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs

~ Temmer officially appointed Statutory Director August 22 ~

PHILIPSBURG--The Council of Ministers, in its capacity as representative of the shareholder of utilities company GEBE, has via letter, formally and informally, requested that the company’s Supervisory Board of Directors assign a crisis management team at GEBE as soon as possible.

The request comes as GEBE Statutory Director Merrill Temmer is currently unable to fulfil his tasks and duties due to illness. This enables the Supervisory Board to assign a temporary manager to ensure the continuity of NV GEBE, Minister of General Affairs/Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs informed Parliament during the continuation of an urgent meeting on GEBE on Friday.
In a statement issued after the meeting, Jacobs said part of the tasks of the crisis management team will be primarily to provide stability within GEBE and to guarantee the proper functioning of the company as provider of water and electricity in St Maarten.
Additionally, there has been a request for an investigation into the events of the past months.
Jacobs said that with the ongoing challenges of GEBE and after the general shareholders meeting held on Friday August 19, she has maintained direct communication with the Supervisory Board of Directors. She said the aim has been ensuring communication of the shareholders’ wishes as expressed during said General Shareholders Meeting.
“During this week, there was an increased need to ensure the company properly addresses the public’s concern regarding the billing challenges as well as steps being taken to secure the financial stability of NV GEBE,” said Jacobs. “These matters are very serious and the Council of Ministers, as representative of the shareholder, does not take this situation lightly, as this affects the people of St. Maarten on multiple levels.”
The Council of Ministers, she noted, shares in the concern of the public and the parliament and has continued to reiterate the need for the Supervisory Board of Directors to ensure proper communication to the public, which, since the company’s latest announcement, has only escalated the impending dread within the community.
“I am willing to return to return to Parliament with answers in a week, but I must make statements today, as our citizens should not have to wait any longer for their fears to be eased,” she told members of parliament (MPs).
Jacobs said the Council of Ministers has been working to handle this situation within the proper scope of the laws and governance codes of St. Maarten.
GEBE’s Supervisory Board previously assigned Sharine Daniel as acting temporary manager. However, Temmer’s appointment by resolution was pending his A-level screening, for which a declaration of no objection was issued by Jacobs on Monday, August 22. This legally confirms Temmer’s appointment as Statutory Director of GEBE and ends Daniel’s tenure as acting Temporary Manager.
“Unfortunately, Mr. Temmer is unable to fulfil his tasks and duties at present due to illness. This enables the Supervisory Board to assign a temporary manager to ensure the continuity of NV GEBE,” Jacobs stated.
In addressing the bill payment and disconnection concerns, she said: “The Council of Ministers has insisted that payment opportunities for the public should have been made available to the public since March, along with clearer communication to the public regarding these matters. While this has not taken place, it is imperative that this is remedied as soon as possible. The board is urged to provide confirmation on the way forward and ensure proper communication to the public by August 29,” stated Jacobs.
“I join NV GEBE as they continue to emphasise the need for the public to start paying their bills and/or clarifying any issues. I urge the people to visit the offices of customer service before September 1 to make the necessary arrangements.”

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