Showdown looming between Councilman Van Putten and STUCO Management

Clyde Ivan van Putten

ORANJESTAD- A showdown is looming in discussion about benefits for the Managing Director of St. Eustatius Utility Company (STUCO), after critical questions of councilman Clyde van Putten about the labour conditions of the director.

The questions of Van Putten are a follow-up to questions posed by the councilman in the Central Committee meeting of the Island Council on April 21, 2022. 

In particular, Van Putten had questions about the use of the Company Vehicle by the partner of managing Director Fred Cuvelay. 

It seemed strange to the Councilman that the lady in question would be allowed to drive the Company’s property, even in instances where the Cuvelay himself wasn’t even on the island. To make matters worse, there are also (still unconfirmed, editor) rumours about the fact that the person in question signs for gasoline vouchers. 

“I have raised the issue as I find this is wrong and unacceptable. I have nothing against Mr. Cuvelay or the lady in question”, said Van Putten in a reaction to questions from the BES-Reporter. “But if something is not right, it needs to be addressed”, as the company is owned by the people of St. Eustatius. 

Labour Conditions

To put an end to the discussion or the doubts, Van Putten after the Central Committee meeting wrote to Government Commissioner Alida Francis with the request to share a copy of the labour conditions of the Managing Director. This however was refused by Francis, citing matters of confidentiality. 

Van Putten said he was also disturbed by the refusal of both the Managing Director and the Supervisory Board of STUCO to make a presence at the Island Council Meeting. “I find this attitude an outrage. Also because the Island Council is the representative of the people of this island, and thus ultimately the shareholder of this Company”, said van Putten. Van Putten also said that while his government was in place, there were many accusations about a lack of transparency and potential wrongdoing. 

“None of these allegations were ever proven. But when we now ask of the present Government to share relevant information with the Council, or have the Managing Director of STUCO or the Supervisory board provide information to this council, it is rejected with one line in a letter to the Council”. 


Van Putten said he increasingly had issues with the behaviour and leadership style of Mr. Cuvalay as CEO of STUCO. Van Putten said he now also felt that the behaviour of Cuvelay was being condoned by the Government Commissioners. “I have an issue with this attitude of the Government commissioner also, because we are speaking about a lack of transparency, about an arrogant behaviour and company property being used in a manner it was not intended”. 

Van Putten said he felt that the Government Commissioner was hiding behind the Corporate Governance structure, in order not to provide the information requested by him. “She is the shareholder representative. But if she doesn’t have certain information and she claims she cannot get it, this is all the more reason for the CEO himself and the Supervisory Board to come and answer the questions the Island Council has”. 

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