What is really going on?

Dear Editor,

  This is not coming from me but from the newspaper.

  Receiver decided to use less number plates. In so doing owners of motor vehicles who had bigger numbers the previous year did not get the same number this year, but instead they a smaller number. A decision most probably made in order to cut costs. Bravo.

  What I do not understand, though, is that if the Receiver made that decision, why those vehicle owners, who do not have any kind of influence in that decision-making, have to bear whatever extra costs that decision (change) brings along. There is an ordinance governing the testing of motor vehicles and I do not believe that private entities can make decisions not based on the laws of that ordinance.

  Because of all the different cases of fraud I hope that this incident will not open a can of worms. What also surprises me is that the civil servant at the Receiver’s Office would dismiss this person with “It is not the Receiver’s problem.” I have said it before and I will continue to repeat it whenever necessary: Everything that happens in the country is the responsibility of government, in this case the Receiver.

  Do we really have to accept for government to accept decisions taken by private companies involving the government which negatively affect its citizens? And beside that, should not the Department of Economic Affairs have a say in these kinds of decisions?

  Since it was established that the number plates can accommodate a letter and five numbers I have spoken to some influential people and suggested to them to get rid of the P numbers and replace them with M numbers, avoiding at least two cars with the same number. (M-1 up to and including M-99999). I would like for the St. Maarten number plate to remain a collector’s item, so that one M-number should be unique.

  I have several more suggestions concerning number plates, but I will say this: when there are responsible jobs to be carried out, those in government should not employ incompetent friends or friends’ children to do the job. You will never get a “job well done”.

  It has been a few years now that the Receiver’s Office has been juggling with motor vehicle tax.

  Again, I have to remind us that the RST [Kingdom Detective Cooperation Team – Ed.] is very long-winded.

  Now this. I was in a discussion with someone who came to me to ask me if the police can give someone a fine for driving without a driver’s license if the police did not actually see that person driving the car. The old people used to say “circumstances alter cases” so I did not answer. So, the next question to me was, “Can the police decide that your car is parked wrong and after telling you to move it give you a fine for driving without a driver’s license, after telling you to move the car?” I know that you will not go against the police, but that happened not too long ago in the area of the old Summit hotel.

  I did not get into any discussion with that person but I am aware of a whole lot of controversial situations that the police and the public have gotten themselves into and my question is “Who is in charge of the St. Maarten police force?” Nothing hides  nowadays and it is no secret that things are not going right with those who have been chosen to protect and serve. I think it is time for those responsible to get together and do what has to be done to guarantee that the citizens of this country continue to feel themselves policed in the correct manner.

  Too many people are complaining that there is no leadership in the force. And my question remains: Why was Minister Panneflek not appointed Minister of Justice or even before that Head Commissioner, just like they got together and planned for Peter de Witte to come to St. Maarten.

Russell A. Simmons