~ Says he is still president ~
PHILIPSBURG–Neville Mars has dismissed the contents of a paid notice that appeared in The Daily Herald on August 3 indicating that he was relieved of his position as president of the St. Maarten Guyanese Association.
The notice stated that a unanimous no-confidence motion had been passed by the association’s board and Mars was no longer authorised to conduct transactions on behalf of the Association.
Mars said he is still very much the president of the association, noting that there is a rift amongst the members of the association’s management committee and some persons were attempting to tarnish his reputation. He said the rift on the board had come because, amongst other things, he has refused to sign off on blind cheques without a clear indication of where the funds were going.
Mars said elections for the association are due in October and the Guyanese community in St. Maarten will have a chance to vote for persons they want to represent them in the association. Until then, Mars said, he remains president.
In the meantime, Malcolm Mickle, who is part of the association, told The Daily Herald in an invited comment that a vote of no confidence against Mars had been passed on Sunday, July 16. He said Mars had been informed of the decision on the same day and he subsequently had been sent the decision by registered mail.
The letter to Mars stated that the board had wanted a meeting or an official discussion on his position as President, but Mars “disrespectfully removed” himself from the association’s mobile media network.
“The decision weighed heavy with the board members, as no individual wanted the association to result in this manner,” it was stated in the letter. “The vote was unanimous to have you removed from the board due to the lack of confidence in you as the prior president, with immediate effect.
“However, the situation of you not making the best efforts for the progression of the association has become overbearing to both executive and general members. Both the general members and the board have been continuously disrespected by you as the prior president who chose to mislead and divide the association in various aspects. The association has given you many chances to get on the right track with unity and positivity.”
“Despite the sufficient time given to you to take the mantle in a productive way that’s best for the association, you have chosen to portray negative characteristics instead. This behaviour will no longer be tolerated.
“Therefore, after taking into consideration the state of the association and its goals, it was decided by the majority of the board to make this decision. This is due to your non-interest in doing what’s best for the welfare of the association, as you display to be very vindictive. Your actions putting your personal issues and objectives above the association’s will not be condoned.”
Mars was elected to head the association in October 2015. Members sit for a duration of one year. After sending Mars the letter, an official notice was placed in the newspaper informing the public of the decision.
A press release issued by Mars said the general members of the Association “condemned” the “anonymous notice” that appeared on page 28 of the Thursday, August 3, edition of this newspaper by a “person or persons alleging to be board members of the St Maarten Guyanese Association with intent to discredit and tarnish the distinguished image of the President Mr. Neville O. Mars and the St Maarten Guyanese Association.”
“The Association wishes to advise the general public that Mr. Neville Mars is the only duly elected President of the Guyanese Association and has never convened any such general members meeting with an agenda point of the removal from office of the President or any other members of the association,” Mars’ press release stated.
“We the general members denounce any such notion that this very despicable and disgusting publication of August 3, 2017, … represents us and as such wish to remind the President that he has our fullest support for his exceptional hard work and dedication to the development of the Guyanese Association and the Guyanese community.
“From our investigation neither the PRO [Public Relations Officer – Ed.] nor the President with whom the responsibility of making public statements on behalf of the Association is entrusted have any knowledge of any resolution being brought to the floor of the general members meeting, let alone for any such discrediting publication to be made.”
In the meantime, Mars said the association does not have a board, as the constitution requires nine members for a board and elections have not been held since the association was revived. He said the association has a management committee, which is provided for in the constitution. A board, he continued, will be elected in October, when elections are due.