Winning team. Front row, left to right: Michel Petit, Bernadette Davis, Dominique Louisy, Valerie Fonrose, Annick Pétrus, Audrey Gil, Raphaël Sanchez, Bernadette Venthou-Dumaine, Steven Cocks, Martine Beldor. Back row, left to right: Alain Richardson, Daniel Arnel, Valérie Damaseau, Louis Mussington. (Robert Luckock photo)
MARIGOT--President of the Collectivité Louis Mussington and his majority party Rassemblement St. Martinois-Alternative (RSM-A) marked one year in office on Friday evening, using the occasion in Hotel de La Collectivité with the press in attendance to give a review of all the accomplishments and money spent in all aspects of the Collectivité’s operations.
In a departure from the original format of only the President and Vice-Presidents giving the annual review, this time it was the President, the four Vice-Presidents, and the Presidents of the various commissions who reviewed their own areas of responsibility.
With 15 speakers in total, about five minutes was allotted to each speaker, which meant they had to hurry through their presentations and it was not always possible to stick to the time limit, in which case a yellow warning card was shown. However, unlike the Oscars speeches, no one got cut off for going on too long.
Journalists were allowed one question each at the end.
Beforehand, a minute’s silence was observed for the late Deputy Mayor during the Commune era, Jean-Luc Hamlet, and more recently the passing of Marigot businessman Frédéric Erb.
Mussington, the first to speak, said he was largely satisfied with the accomplishments made during the first year, and this was also reflected in feedback from the population, he noted. “I feel we have the confidence of the population at large and for that I thank the whole team. The grace period is extending.”
He also thanked his colleagues in the administrative services who accompany elected officials on public policies and continue to “understand their mission.”
He expressed his concern for the youth and their future, many of whom are still being sent off to prison in Guadeloupe. He said he had been approached recently by a youth in Sandy Ground who reminded the President that he had visited this young man and others in prison, and now that they are back on the island, they want help.
“How do we provide for these young men and women coming out of jail now?” he questioned. “That is the challenge we are facing as a team. We must find solutions for them, encourage them and give them hope.”
On social matters he said it is important that each citizen be treated fairly. He also insisted on protection of the environment.
“We must put in place a strong policy to protect and conserve the environment. We want to leave a legacy that future generations will be proud of and that they don’t have too much to blame us for.”
Major school construction projects are about to start or are already in motion, such as at the French Quarter College, and this is very positive for the territory and the construction sector, he added.