Editorial: Hit the ground running

It appears things may be normalising at GEBE soon with the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the intended installation of a new Supervisory Board (see Saturday paper). The nominated candidates for the latter seem appropriate enough and hopefully can help prevent much of the internal conflict that has characterised the local utilities provider during the last year or so.

Taking into account the recent power failures and still-pending generator on order, it’s important that staff are allowed to focus on their task rather than have to worry about what’s going on in the upper echelons of the Government-owned company. After all, being the only supplier of drinking water and electricity of St. Maarten is a huge responsibility also concerning the local tourism economy that provides the livelihood for practically every inhabitant.

Of course, the board will need to keep its distance and allow management to do their job as required under the Corporate Governance Code, but at the same time exercise effective control on behalf of the shareholder and ultimately the people. Clarity certainly may be sought on some burning issues such as the monetary reserves related to water distribution said to belong to Government, concession and/or dividend payments, GEBE’s role in the proposed waste-to-energy plant at the dump, its plans for alternative energy and a straightforward policy towards private solar- and wind-energy farmers.

All this is probably going to take some time, while the one-cent-per-kilowatt-hour levy on electricity for the William Marlin Cabinet’s Youth Employment Fund may have to be implemented soon too. Incoming CEO William Brooks obviously has his work cut out for him, but stood at the helm of GEBE before and was recently temporary manager as well, so he should indeed be able to hit the ground running.
Source: Daily Herald
Hit the ground running