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Town Hall Meeting, Harbour Island
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Page 1 of 1Total of 9 messages
Posted by:Jul 15th 2010, 01:01:35 pm
cjsMr Stubbs
I am writting to let you no base on our assestment on the on the of the over all look of the property, we would like to recommend that the following work be done in three phases.

The fo
Posted by:Nov 24th 2007, 08:04:32 pm
Tuck Shop
Thanks for the excellent meeting report :)

Posted by:Nov 24th 2007, 09:24:38 am
island ladynow if we could only get these people to protect and preserve the old houses, miss eula's house by the harbour lounge is already gone, kings treat and laffey house is next. please help, help, help! we don't need these new houses that take up the whole yard, we need to keep our heiritage intack.
Posted by:Nov 22nd 2007, 01:52:41 pm
Fig Tree News TeamBriland Town Hall: Notes In The Sand

“It will take every one of us to target our problems one at a time. The community of Harbour Island has my support, the council has my support, and I am here to employ the community to give the administrators office your support, demonstrate your concern and lend us some advice.” – Central Administrator Brenda Bullard-Colebrooke



Thursday’s town meeting at the St. John’s Parish Hall was well-attended by a core of interested community residents, local business owners,expatriate second homeowners, resort owners, elected local government officials, representatives from the Ministry of Environmental Health and area police. The energetic discussion and ensuing community question-and-answer session was capably managed by Chief Councillor Dascheil Roberts and Comm. Colebrooke, with expert analysis offered on key issues by council members Rickey Mackey, Nordell Albury, Antwone Barry, Jackswell Percentie and Darrell Johnson.



Chief councillor Roberts announced that the island’s annual operating budget had been increased by $150,000 for the 2008 calendar year, with $600,000 now available to manage the community’s primary energy and water infrastructure, garbage collection, roadways, government docks, water quality and port authority issues and overall environment. Roberts announced that a joint venture had been entered into recently with the North Eleuthera District Council to improve the overall appearance of Three Islands gateway dock on the mainland of Eleuthera.



Community input

It was requested that the annual local district council budget including salaried employees and related contractors be made available in a formal financial treasurers report at annual town hall meetings. (Chief councillor Roberts responded that such level of detail is available upon request at the local district council office.)



Jobs protection for Bahamians

A member of the community noted that illegal immigration issues on the island continue to be a local concern, mentioning the increasing number of Americans, Canadians, Haitians taking jobs traditionally set aside in the retail and tourism sector for Bahamians, and noting the disparity of salaries between expats and Bahamians. The specific example of expats taking standard maitre’d jobs at area resorts was noted, with or without appropriate work permits.



Councillor Mackey acknowledged the problem, and noted that the issue was in fact discussed in detail at the recent local government conference in Nassau. Conclusions at that meeting suggested that the suspected individuals be identified as to their legal status, especially in the case of certain jobs that have normally reserved for Bahamians in the retail and tourism sector. Such information would then be gathered and passed to immigration so that the matter can be dealt with at the time of work permit renewal. Mackey further emphasized that Bahamians themselves are contributing to the problem by renting homes to illegal immigrante, and notes that the community needs to be vigilant in the monitoring of the situation.






Security

Tony Shogren of Dunmore Beach Club commented that his 10-room hotel spends $1,000 per week for nighttime security, and asked as to council initiatives to combat crime on the island. Mackey confirmed that crime has in fact lessened on Harbour Island in comparison to years past, and suggested that Dunmore Beach Club review its security needs. Chief Councillor Roberts inquired as to how many employees are currently employed at DBC, and their nationalities, suggesting that three Bahamians are gainfully employed at the resort, with a complement of 27 Haitians. Councillor Albury interrupted to note that she is in fact an interior decorating consultant of Dunmore Beach Club and confirmed that the majority of the employees on site are Bahamian. Albury commended Dunmore Beach Club for being the only resort on the island to have a Bahamian senior management team in place, Quincie and Omar Stubbs.



Immigration

Another member of the community suggested that an immigration office be installed at the Customs House at the government dock to better manage movement of goods and personnel in the harbour. The comment was made that houses in the Narrows area of the island are enjoying runaway employment of illegals without any formal followup or investigation. It was noted that there is currently no patrolling of the area for illegal labour, with the issue being exacerbated by the fact that Bahamians procuring the necessary work permits for these individuals. The comment was further made that Bahamians are housing illegal nationals, and Bahamians are employing them as well. Fully 39 homes on the island offer residency options to Haitian nationals, legal and illegal. Council responded that it has in fact requested additional immigration officer detail for the area to better monitor such activities.



Island beautification

Several complaints were lodged by local residents as to the amount of garbage on the streets of Harbour Island. Michelle Andrews of the Ministry of Works’ department of environmental health for North Eleuthera, noted that she is on island every Wednesday. All complaints as to illegal dumping are to be directed to central government administrative assistant Kayla Davis or Ms. Andrews for investigation. Illegal dumping can result in a $5,000 fine and/or imprisonment for one year.



A resident asked as to the status of the various rundown vehicles on main streets and community ball fields. The suggestion was made to collect all old vehicles, pop on a barge and create an artificial reef, or consider having them compacted. Schedule as to proposed barge transport is being researched, but not yet available per Ms. Burrows.



Given the admonition by area government officials to identify guilty culprits as to their illegal dumping activity, it was noted slyly by one resident that the rusting fire truck in front of the local administration complex could certainly be cited as a community eyesore.



Animal awareness

An area vendor who sells horse rides along the beach noted that as a hospitality worker on the beach, he is at a loss as to what to do to when expatriate residents and area hotel owners return to the island for the season and complain as to the condition of his horses. Councillor Roberts responds that in light of various complaints both local and online as to the care and feeding of the beach horses, the council was limited in terms of what it could do to support the situation. It was pointed out that if the horses could not be tied up, another permanent resolution had to be found. Various council members reiterated that the horses are currently eating out of residential garbage cans, breaking into residential water lines and not being watered on a regular basis. One member suggested that the horses be rehomed to Nassau in light of the ongoing lack of care, and stressed that the horse vendor has been warned repeatedly as to the condition and care of his horses. The horse vendor responded that the horses are attractive to the overall tourism climate of the island. Comm. Colebrooke asked the vendor for proof as to a business license, which the vendor insisted that he would confirm the next business day.



Water conservation

A concerned resident noted that first thing in the morning, water is being wasted from the system at Barracks Hill, and flows through the streets as far south as Rock House. The resident also commented that BEC lighting throughout the island is inconsistent, dimming at will in certain areas, with some streets not at all lit. The resident inquired as to the regular schedule of maintenance, and expressed concern as to women’s safety walking through these darkened areas at night.



Garbage collection

A representative local trucker stated that his biggest professional concern remains the fact that the garbage truckers of Briland have been losing money because they do not have regular access to the area trash compactors, and that same compactors are not being regularly maintained.. One compactor has been broken down for two and a half years in the middle of the dumping site, and has never been completed. The shredder cannot be properly used, and the exterior fence has been destroyed which causes the trash to be dumped on the earth floor, directly impacting the bonefishing flats of North Eleuthera. Councillor Percentie asks the community to have patience while the issue is being addressed.



It was suggested by a local tourism manager that a Nassau representative from the Ministries of Tourism, labour, customs spend a week on Harbour Island to effect area training and to appreciate how things really get done here from a cost-benefits perspective. The comment was made that central government never seems to understand the frequent requests for community funding that germinate in Harbour Island, given the cost of living locally, running a school, customs office, local government council office. A member of the community interjects “Yassuh, massa.”



Social services

“Our Girl Guides, Brownies and Briland Boys Club groups on the island involve basically good kids. They’re not all thiefs.” – youth program president



An area advocate for island youth programs asks as to what is being actively done by the local council for the youth of the island. The comment was made that October was youth month in the Bahamas with activities all over the country, yet nothing was done on Harbour Island. The comment was made that no one asked anyone from the private community to host something for youth month, yet it was recently learned that $2,000 was set aside for Harbour Island by central government in Nassau for inclusion in a Youth Month event in Nassau. Councillor Percentie warned that if the community and council doesn’t keep its word and commit to putting the necessary social infrastructure in place such as additional community programs for youth, the island will lose more kids in the next 5-10 years to drugs. He noted that visiting senior magistrate Janet Evans recently charged area parents as well as the charged juvenile offenders to become more responsible for their children as well as their neighbors children.



The suggestion was made to offer scholarships to graduating top students at the Harbour Island All Age School in the necessary disciplines of urban planning, health, customs, immigration, agriculture and fisheries, and housing. Another concerned resident emphasized that all training begins at home, and suggested a curfew for 6 and 7 year-olds, insisting that there should a structure for parents on the island. Sgt. Stirrup reiterated that parents are often the source of the problem, making the example of two kids who recently gotten off of charges last week, who he escorted to their home … only to be reprimanded by the children’s mother. He noted that the police are planning a babysitting service at the local station.



The beach-based horse vendor asked as to the status of public bath facilities being developed on the beach. Councillor Mackey responded that local government council is currently being sued by an area resort for $160K for attempting just such a recent maneuver, and that he recently appeared in the Supreme Court on that issue on behalf of the council. A concerned local resident lamented the continuing erosion of access to the beach for local Bahamians, without a single point of entry currently being maintained for non-beach residents or resort owners.



The Landing dock

A hearing was recently held to consider the petition by The Landing Hotel on Harbour Island to build a dock in front of its resort property on Bay Street, directly south of the existing government dock. Given the council’s considered opinion that the area targeted for development is the only safe area of protection from nor’westers for local boatmen, with a dozen established moorings already in place, the council ruled that the application be denied. Appeals on behalf of The Landing are pending.



At 10:00p, Councillor Albury thanked the participating government officials and attending audience for the thoughtful discussion and mannerly discourse, and adjourned the town hall meeting, at which point members of the community, council members and area government representatives were treated to dinner refreshments.
Posted by:Nov 21st 2007, 12:06:40 pm
Kimberly7:00p, St. John's Hall on Colebrooke Street, just down the street from the Anglican parsonage ... see you there!
Posted by:Nov 20th 2007, 07:48:06 pm
Fifi202What time and where?
Posted by:Nov 19th 2007, 01:53:41 pm
Fig Tree News TeamOpen discussion of all issues facing the island in the short and long-term, so be there aloha!
Posted by:Oct 27th 2007, 07:36:06 pm
Tuck ShopWhats on the agenda ?

Posted by:Oct 27th 2007, 05:33:09 pm
Fig Tree News TeamA town meeting will be held on November 21st, 2007 at St. John's Parish Hall on Colebrook Street, courtesy of
the Harbour Island District Council.

All full-time and winter residents of Harbour Island are invited to attend.

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