Reader’s Opinion: Big boss approach

POSTED: 10/5/15 1:50 PM

Dear Editor,

It was with great interest that I took note of the statement in the media by Island Governor Gerald Berkel where he defends the instruction given by Minister Plasterk on June 10, points out that the government’s administration of Sint Eustatius has not functioned properly during the past five years, and criticizes the island’s legitimately elected coalition government which took office in March of this year.

First of all, I would like to point out that Governor Berkel, is the chairman of the same Executive Council and Island Council of Sint Eustatius who appealed the instruction of June 10. The fact that four months after the instruction was issued and appealed, and on the day that the appeal hearing took place, Governor Berkel issues an individual statement which contradicts the position of two of the governing bodies which he chairs and represents, says more than enough about his character and lack of professionality functioning.

This leads me to my second point, which is that Governor Berkel, being the one who has been ultimately responsible for good governance on Sint Eustatius since 2010, is basically condemning his own functioning and track record. This track record was already questioned when an investigation against his functioning was carried out by the former minister of BZK in 2013. Despite not being reprimanded by the former minister, the illegitimacy of the actions of Governor Berkel were confirmed twice in the courts, causing unneeded reputational and financial damage to the government of Sint Eustatius. This could have been avoided if Governor Berkel had heeded advice and not himself had used the big boss-governing approach he accuses the legitimately elected Government of Sint Eustatius of using.

It is unheard of that government officials in comparable positions act in the manner Berkel did by issuing his statement of October 3, unless they have already left office or are in the process of doing so. As such, Governor Berkel’s statement is only one in a long sequence of numerous ill-advised and or wrongful acts that prompted and motivated the motion of no confidence against his person that was passed on August 31, 2015.

Before Governor Berkel loses even more credibility and the recently initiated article 160 WolBES investigation of the Island Council does more damage to his and the island’s reputation, he would be well advised to do the honorable thing and resign.

Clyde van Putten,

Member Island Council Sint Eustatius

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