A conseil de quartier (sorry, I don’t have the English translation for it but perhaps it would be suburban council) is an organism that is supposed to be an intermediate between the population of little suburbs or towns and the local government.
In Saint-Martin we have 5 of those councils but they have no power at all. It’s nearly as if when a real problem is reported to the collectivity by those organisms, the answer is ‘talk, talk, talk at least the wind listens.’ The point is that I’m not really seeing what is the use of implementing those organisms if finally the government in place tries to use it for political reasons. I think, it is necessary that those organisms would serve the areas of which they are responsible better by remaining politically independent so to preserve the economy and permit development. Some people that work voluntarily within those councils and that work also for government are sometimes afraid to voice opposition to wrong decision made by the government because they are afraid to lose their employment. This shouldn’t be that’s why I think it is necessary to do so. Even if I feel like saying if you do not have the guts to do something it is better to stay out, like this you preserve both interests.
Right now we have a critical situation in SXM economically, Some of the responsible people for those organisms within government seem to think today for tomorrow or think only “will I gain any popularity out of this?” or again “does my family have any interest in this”. But the point is as this video says it so good: those councils are not to favor political orientations or personal ambitions but to favor a better living, a better comprehension and insure a better future for the areas that are concerned. Government generally has a lot more to think and has very little time for certain things and I believe that those organisms’ objective is mainly being the ears and eyes of the government.
However, in St-Martin, I think we cannot only limit the powers of such organisms to only this because: 1) the collectivity has no money 2) Unemployment and insecurity are on the rise 3) most buildings and infrastructures are nearly falling into ruins and we cannot depend on governmental founds to get back everything in order.
So I believe the conseil de quartier should be empowered to construct a monetary found that would serve exclusively for development and employment within those towns. Plus I think that accepting this is somewhat forcing the people of each town, young and old, to take part in the town’s and the island’s life.
I don’t know what is your opinion about it but this is surely mine! Tell me what you think.