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Local

www. EleutheraNews . com

Feb/Mar 2017

Letter Continued from pg. 31 Health Code requires them to have access to public water, yet the same government has not made such provisions. Garbage Dump Site! This has been a sore spot for as long as I can remember. Like most, all the out Islands we push and burn the waste; food, plastics, electronics, household garbage, oil, tires, batteries, construction waste and just about anything you can think of. This is a concern and directly relates to the health of our community. I’m sure you have heard of “Environmental Levy Fees” charged at the border by Customs; what are these fees being used for? We need a proper recycling programme! The council has asked DEHS to send a team to assist with a better management plan. We have yet to receive a reply. Fishing! For years the fishermen of The Bahamas, particularly Spanish Wells, have been crying out to the government to protect the banks from illegal poachers. The response from successive governments has been like a slap in the face; from being told that fishermen were reporting “ghost ships” to sending Defence Force personnel in days after reports of poachers were made. Thankfully this last Crawfish Season saw better response from the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, but one must ask, is this only because election is on the horizon? It is sad that the government only appears to be partial-

ly proactive close to election time. We have faith in Commodore Tellis Bethel and pray the government continues to allow him to do his job, whether it be an election or not. School! The school is on a constant money binge. They are raising money for everything you can think of, even toilet paper. The District Council entertains requests for funds several times a year despite an already exhausted budget. The school is always short on teachers especially at the onset of a new academic year. We are very thankful for and appreciate the new school classroom block that was completed prior to the 2012 General Election. The education of our children is a priority, but teachers need to be given the tools they need and students should not lack the materials or facilities required. Why is it that in 2017, our Public Schools do not have individualized budgets? Every institution should have a budget whose expenditure is ultimately executed by the District Superintendent, not one huge budget for a cluster of schools; that results in financial chaos and neglect of facilities. Finally, The District of Spanish Wells had a Crest designed 9 years ago. To date we have still not been able to get it Gazetted. The last correspondence with the Dept. of Local Government about the same was April of 2016. Once again, we requested that it be sent to the relevant government agencies

so that it can be Gazetted and officially recognized. What is being done with the 8-10 million tax payer dollars that the community of Spanish Wells pays to the Public Treasury annually? We receive a little more than 4% in the form of the District Council budget which in part is used to help maintain our community’s infrastructure. There are 1,600 residents and 600 homes. The Administrator’s Office which has the burden of collecting these taxes recently went for weeks on end without the ability to photocopy, print or register voters because of lack of office supplies. The Administrator’s Office has a balcony above the entrance way that is ready to collapse. Water comes through the concrete when it rains and the office stinks because of mildew and the damp carpet. It is not healthy for staff or customers. Spanish Wells has a history and reputation of paying its taxes on time and conforming to government regulations. If you want to get paid for a government job these days you must apply for a tax compliance certificate, yet government can go without paying its bills to the very people supporting them financially. Just recently a social media post on Facebook raised the issues of our roads and clinic. One of the comments implied that if residents expected the government to fix the issues, they should have voted for their candidate in the last election. This is the same mentality that has stunted growth in various

communities nationwide. I would say, our collective response to that is- if governments are going to take that approach, stop taxing constituencies that do not have Members of Parliament on the governing side. Let us retain and manage our own taxes locally; we’d be better off. If you’re going to make us pay, give us value for money! And should I mention, this same government’s candidate from the 2012 election is a resident of Spanish Wells and has again been ratified for the 2017 general election, yet conditions continue to worsen. Has he not had the ear of the Prime Minister or Cabinet Ministers for the last 5 plus years? Central Government is becoming more centralized; Local Government is hardly functioning because of the chokehold. All the while the Family Islands are being neglected and everything is Nassau centric. We supposedly celebrated 20 years of Local Government in 2016 but have less to celebrate now than ever before! I look forward to reading the responses from other Local Government Practitioners on the “State of ‘Our’ Union”. If only it was better. Sincerely, Robert Roberts Chief Councilor

Eleuthera Junior Junkanoo Parade 2017 Primary Schools Overall Results: A - Division (50 Students or more) 1st Place - North Eleuthera Primary - 1,165 points 2nd Place - Wemyss Bight Primary - 1,124 points 3rd Place - Emma Cooper Primary - 882 points 4th Place - P.A. Gibson Primary - 524 points B - Division (Less than 50 students) 1st Place - Green Castle Primary - 1,174 points Primary Schools Category Results: • • • • • • • •

Best Banner Winner - Wemyss Bight Primary Best Originality Winner - Green Castle Primary Best Music Winner - North Eleuthera Primary Best Costume Winner - Green Castle Primary Best Dance Winner - Wemyss Bight Primary Best Theme Execution Winner - Green Castle Primary Best Performance Winner - Wemyss Bight Primary Best General Impression Winner - Green Castle Primary

The competition was held in Tarpum Bay on Saturday, February 4th, in front of a good line of onlookers and without the participation of either Preston H. Albury or Tarpum Bay Primary, the two schools that in December traveled to New Providence to put on stellar performances. The Exceptional Learners were also a part of the event.

See photos on pages - 36-39 And online at www.eleutheranews.com

Tefeb2017w  

The Eleutheran Newspaper Vol 10 Issue 2 March 2017 - News, Information, Real Estate, Offers, Opinions, Events, Reports and more from Eleuth...

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