Tobago Chamber head: Winford James must go
Head of the Tobago Business Chamber Martin George has called for the appointment of political analyst Dr Winford James as deputy chairman of Tobago’s Studley Park Enterprise Ltd (SPEL) board to be revoked, given his “closeness” to Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Secretary of Infrastructure, Quarries and Urban Development Trevor James.
George said Dr James can serve on another board, but it must be out-side the remit of the Division of Infrastructure.
Secretary James and Dr James are brothers.
Dr James and ten others were appointed to the SPEL board last week.
The Division of Infrastructure has direct oversight for the company, whose mandate is to oversee the operations of the Studley Park Quarry. THA chief secretary Farley Augustine said last week Monday that although Dr James is “extremely qualified”, the THA took note of the public’s concerns about his appointment.
He said Secretary James is reviewing the matter and before the end of the week a final determination will be made.
In response, George on Tuesday urged the THA to set a new standard for public affairs, management and delivery of public services in Tobago.
“It is not good enough to say that the other side did worse. We want to hold this THA administration to a standard where they actively strive to do better, not to measure themselves against those who do worse. So it is a good sign that the Chief Secretary has acknowledged the voices of persons and I want to say that this has nothing to do with the personalities or the people involved,” he stated.
“This is about principles, procedures and the way you conduct yourself in a manner that will engender public respect and satisfaction that you are doing things differently. It cannot be that we intend to do the same things the same way as previous administrations and expect different results or expect the public to support it by saying the other side did it too,” he pointed out.
“If it is that the THA, through the Chief Secretary, would revisit this decision and possibly reverse it and maybe have Dr Winford James serve in another Division, in another capacity, in another board, then that’s fine.
“But the nexus and the closeness here is what I think has people concerned.
There is a saying in law that justice must not only be done, but it must appear to be done. And in those circumstances, I think that the best thing would be to revoke and reverse this appointment.”
By: Leah Sorias