Van Putten sole IC member to show up for ‘ferry debate’

It was a very empty Island Council hall on Wednesday morning, with Van Putten as sole Council Member present.

ORANJESTAD- Councilman Clyde van Putten (PLP) on Wednesday morning was the only member of Statia’s Island Council to show up for the meeting about the start, or better said delay, for the Makana ferry service.

Last week Van Putten had requested an ‘urgent Island Council meeting’ to discuss the situation surrounding the ferry service. While Saba has provided some details about the causes of the delay, Statia Government has remained quiet on the subject.

To the suprise of many, seeing that the issue is so hotly debated in -among others- Social Media and the broader community, no other Council member showed up for the debate. The meeting, for lack of quorom, had to be posponed till Friday morning at 9.30.


Councilman Koos Sneek reacted on Social Media about his absence. “An official explaination has already been provived”, said Sneek. The Councilman also said that Van Putten had ‘failed to communicate beforehand’ what his stance would be in the Island Council on the topic of the ferry.

The BES-Reporter also reached out to PLP Leader Rechelline Leerdam and Reuben Merkman, to query the reason for their absence. Both reported to the BES-Reporter that the reason actually was on oversight. Leerdam said she had assumed that the time would be 9.30, as usual, in stead of 9. Leerdam also said she did reach the meeting about quarter past nine, when the decision to adjourn had already been taken.

Councilman Merkman responded in a similar way, and blamed an oversight on the starting time as reason for his late appearance. Merkman said Leerdam and he arrived more or less at the same time at the Island Council meeting. Merkman added that he apologized for the oversight on his behalf.


Councilman Van Putten himself seemed irritated by the absence of his colleauges. “A reminder by the Griffier was sent out this morning around 8”, said Van Putten who thought that would have been enough to remind council members of the starting time for the IC meeting.

Van Putten earlier stated that he was supportive of the new Ferry Operation, but that he was not in agreement with the way the matter was being handled. “The people have a right to know what when wrong and to know how things came together, or failed to come together”. Van Putten said a public Island Council debate was the right place to get answers from the Government Commissioners, who are ultimatly responsible.

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