OBA: What Is Govt’s Motive For This Change?

February 19, 2019

“The sentiment of the overwhelming majority in the room last night was for the Government to leave the Corporations as they are,” Shadow Home Affairs Minister Sylvan Richards said following last night’s town hall in St George’s.

The meeting followed after Government announced public consultation regarding the future of Bermuda’s municipalities providing two options, to either change the Corporations of Hamilton and St George’s into quangos or dissolve them entirely.

The two options presented by the Government were:

  1. “Change both corporations to Quangos, leaving each organisation intact as a corporate body but increasing the Government’s oversight over key initiatives.”
  2. “Dissolving the corporations, repealing the Municipalities Act and integrating the corporations’ various functions into the Government’s administrative structure.

The 1-hour live video replay of last night St George’s Town Hall Meeting:

Mr. Richards said, “The fact that Walter Roban, the Minister of Home Affairs, chose to be absent from what may have been the last, and probably the most important meeting of the Corporation of St George’s, is a true indication of how the PLP Government really feels about Mr & Mrs Bermuda, and in particular, the people of St. George.

“Compounding the Minster’s conspicuous absence, was the fact that Quinell Francis, the Mayor of St George, was not able to provide any specific details as to what Government’s plans would be for the town if the Corporations were either converted to quangos or subsumed into Government.

“MP Renee Ming, MP Derrick Burgess and MP Kim Swan were the only PLP members sitting in the proverbial ‘Lion’s Den’. However, Minister Roban’s noticeable absence, together with the lack of information or a clear plan [which seems to be the PLPs prevailing modus operandi], was clearly a source of angst and frustration for the meeting attendees, where, oddly enough, the above named MPs sat silent throughout.

“Although the Government is promoting two options in respect of the both Corporations in its consultation document on www.forum.gov.bm – either quango or subsuming – the fact of the matter is that in reality there is only one option and that is the Corporations being subsumed into Government.

“Why do I say this? Because the Municipalities Amendment Act 1923 was amended in 2018 to 1] give the Minister extensive powers which provide complete oversight of the Corporations in order to give them general and specific directions, 2] allow the Minister to delegate functions to a public officer and 3] allow the Minister to have oversight of the good governance of the Corporations.

“In essence, the Corporations are essentially being operated as quangos now.

“It is curious that a survey hand-out distributed at the meeting last night included the option of leaving the Corporations as they currently stand; however, this third option is not included as a choice on the online survey.

“The sentiment of the overwhelming majority in the room last night was for the Government to leave the Corporations as they are.

“The real question is not why is the Government attempting to fix something that isn’t broken. The real question is in light of the Government’s inability to create a third pillar of our economy via Fintech, Bermuda’s growing debt and contracting economy, what is the Government’s underlying motive for bringing this change now.”

This past weekend the Ministry of Home Affairs reminded the public that they “are still engaged in public consultation and that no final decision has been made regarding the options presented.”

The Government previously said the Consultation period for this will run from February 12 until February 22.

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Comments (21)

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  1. red rose says:

    “The fact that Walter Roban, the Minister of Home Affairs, chose to be absent from what may have been the last, and probably the most important meeting of the Corporation of St George’s, is a true indication of how the PLP Government really feels about Mr & Mrs Bermuda, and in particular, the people of St. George.

    Sure does …..

  2. Kevin says:

    The plp are masters of their own destruction and that of our lovely island the irony of this situation really is this ….they can’t operate a refuse collection department nor can they operate a public transportation dept …have no idea how to deal with the Education department. Infrastructure is in an absolute horrible condition , roads are a disgrace and they want to take over 2 corporations ….talk about biting off more than you can chew….the plp need to just do one thing right …just one thing ,, i don’t care what it is just something
    they love a microphone and a camera …should have been entries on Bermudas got talent…..but then maybe they wouldnt even have gotten passed the audition

    • Toodle-oo says:

      *.the plp need to just do one thing right …just one thing ,,*

      Well , they are presiding over a total and complete lack of confidence in Bermuda very well but I have a feeling that that isn’t what you had in mind.
      You dindn’t say it couldn’t be bad !

  3. puzzled says:

    Enjoy the coming months. A long summer ahead with thousands of penny pinching tourists eating high off the hog on ships tied to Kings Wharf whilst the king sits and enjoys his wine on Martha’s.

    The PLP annual colonialoscopy will be held and the ancients will dress as royalty.

    Sleep in peace. There will be just scavengers of gardens and loquat wine and chutney in rusty tins

    • wahoo says:

      I hear Martha’s is nice if you can afford it. I will be selling my home and living in Jam-rock with the other refugees.

      • spittal pond Skink says:

        Assuming you can find someone to buy your home…

  4. wahoo says:

    I can recall Kim Swan being a very loud detractor of the plp many years ago to the point where nobody else could say a word over his noise. Well fast forward and low and behold he has nothing to say. That speaks volumes Mr. Swan you came across loud and clear last night without saying anything at all…..

  5. Really says:

    What’s so funny is when the OBA proposed the EXACT SAME IDEA was not no bad write ups in the paper not a peep even thought the same ppl from the same municipalities had the exact same sentiments and attitudes towards this. BIAS. I pointed this out when Fahey was right dead smack in the middle of the waterfront and par le ville hotel mess and nothing but excuses about govt getting involved for the greater good. Sylvan Richards have a seat please sir. You still haven’t justified your 30,000 dollar escapade in Brazil. You dont want that truth to come out. The whole par le ville hotel mess is the main reason why govt wants to get a hold of them because for them to operate on their own and use Bermuda’s name in their shadyness doesn’t sit well with me.

    • Kevin says:

      Really ….good on you trying deflect what is going on today and trying to make it sound like that no one made any noise …I did and many others did as well through this very medium…here’s the difference these clowns cant get out of a wet paper bag and cant manage anything …I mean anything …can you imagine the mess if they had anything like the Americas cup to organize….laughable at best …..get real …real they need to resign and allow some intelligent and innovative Bermudians to take over and help us …

    • Actually, it was $40,000

    • Double S says:

      No they didn’t. You’re rewriting history

    • newperspective says:

      That’s partisan politics for you!You guy’s used him….. Only good to hammer home the message of incompetence by beating the same drum. The UBP never age him a safe seat to run in, and didn’t support him as your leader.

    • aceboy says:

      Please give us a reference to this nonsense? Just one article where the OBA said they wanted to take over the two Corporations?

      You can’t because you made it up!

    • Come Correct says:

      You’re lying again.

  6. Truthhertz says:

    €¥£$ is the motive sylvan.

  7. St.George's Passport and Immigration Control says:

    The plp are after money wherever they can get it.
    How many times do you need to be told this before you get your heads out of the sand.
    Bermuda was doing real well until these fools where allowed to take over,now look around and see the amount of businesses that have closed and gone,Blucks was just a few days ago.
    Soon many more will just give up and go and so will more jobs.
    Until you remove the plp from office Bermuda is going to become a 3rd world country.

  8. just wondering says:

    From the Government that has brought you the Heritage Wharf, Magistrates Court building, Port Royal and numerous other fiascos. From the Government that every time it rains the roads turn into swimming pools , the Government that has taken 17 years and 1.7 million dollars on a “Consultant” to sort out a bus timetable …….. and I could go on………. thats the Government that thinks it can run Hamilton and St Georges…….. how can they possibly think this?????

  9. Dready says:

    If the OBA get rid of the Cannon they might win the next election. If they don’t, no chance! Hahaha!

  10. Pequat1609 says:

    The fact that a third option, leaving the corporation as it is pretty much speaks for itself. This was a JACK right from the get go, there was no need for consultation they only want to be seen as doing their due diligence. The fact that the Minister was not present and those MPs that did attend remained silent should also make it abundantly clear. There is nothing to debate.
    What of the ceremonial duties of the Mayor and the centuries old tradition of the Peppercorn Cermony , no consideration at all given to what has always been a highlight of the activities calendar in St George’s with tourist and locals alike flocking to see the pomp and circumstance. Agin it only shows the lack of consideration given to St George’s on a whole outside of what their agenda is and that is repealing the municipalities act.
    I don’t thing Bermudians or those in St. George’s or Hamilton corporations would have ever thought that this would be thrust on them given the recent changes that gave the government more oversight due to the Parlaville Hotel debacle. There is already sufficient governmental oversight in place for the corporations so clearly there is one and only one result from this situation and one can only wonder if the one hundred and fifty who rejected the governments position will hold any weight.
    Given the PLPs patvtrack record I would advise you all not to hold your breath.

  11. what's up says:

    The PLP are looking for $$$$$ wherever they can, but guess what, the people have spoken and they don’t want you. Come one, who would be so stupid to allow the take over from this Gov. These guys can’t even sort out a bus schedule. They wasted $100K on some Canadian person to sort it out, Canadian??? why, they have no idea about us. Can you people not get some smart Bermudians together to sort this out? Why is it that whenever the PLP are in Gov. they have to hire a consultant? I know Burt thinks he can sort stuff out, he talks so much but nothing seems to get accomplished, like Health Care for us poor folks, retirement age has not changed yet, that’s stupid. When are they going to keep their promises about our HUGE DEBT….??? It’s all taking too long, forget about photo opps. PLP, get some work done.