Island Council Saba satisfied with training received on Bonaire

The members of Saba’s Island Council together with departing Island Governor of Bonaire, Edison Rijna. Photo: Saba Government

THE BOTTOM/KRALENDIJK- According to members of the island Council who followed a three day course in Bonaire, the training has provided them with important insights. The training was provided by advisory firm Konsiliare. 

“The training brought more insight into the role and responsibilities that you have as an Island Council member,” said Elsa Peterson of the Windward Islands People’s Movement (WIPM). “For me, it was a bit more empowering, coming from government’s executive branch. As an Island Council member, it is important to realize that you are in fact the highest legislative body of government, and the responsibility and authority that comes with that,” she said.

Vito Charles (WIPM) reiterated it was good that the training was held very soon after the installation of the new Island Council. “It shows that we are proactive. The training gave focus and clarity on what is important for the Island Council. It is always good to reinforce what you heard during earlier trainings and to discuss it with your colleagues, especially the more recent members who have come on board so we can continue to develop knowledge and find ways to do new things,” said Charles.

Greater understanding

Saskia Matthew of the Party for Progress, Equality and Prosperity (PEP) said she was glad to have done this training at this specific point in time. “It’s been three weeks since we were sworn in and it was important for us to start with the basics. This training has given me a greater understanding of how much knowledge is lacking on Saba and within our governing system. As such, we have made a collective decision to have a fully functioning Island Council before the end of this term because we all deem it necessary. It’s important that we are fully equipped to uphold the office of the Island Council and represent the island to the best of our abilities,” she said. 

“As I mentioned before we left, our last training was 3.5 years too late. So, I made it my point that as soon as the new Island Council was sworn in, an introduction training should take place. Especially for the newly-elected members it is important to understand the structure of the organization and what your role is within. The fact that the training was held off-island allowed the different members to get to know each other in a different setting,” said Hemmie van Xanten (PEP).

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