PM Gonsalves, I know you have already brought investors into St Vincent and the Grenadines to look at the site of the now decommissioned ET Joshua Airport because you have publicly expressed your desire to put a new city on the land. It is my opinion that you are not a bright man, and the people around you refuse to use their heads to think. I am also of the opinion that it will not be fair to me and the future of St Vincent and the Grenadines if I sit back and allow you and Julian Francis to sort this issue of the new city out on your own. This issue of utilizing the land on which the ET Joshua Airport sat gives me the opportunity to put on display my high level of intelligence; as well as my analytical and other skill.
I will not sit idly by and allow you to make the same mistakes you made with the airport at Argyle. Your poor management, inadequate planning, the blatant misappropriation of state funds and inappropriate financing mechanism of that project resulted in an over escalation of the cost of the airport and it will not be certified within the next four or so years. This means that the project will not began to achieve its potential before that time and, as a result, the country will have to carry that burden of its daily operational cost as well as its maintenance and repair cost of this facility.
I am also aware that you are trying to salvage whatever remains of your legacy. I will let you know you will be remembered for all of the sexual scandals, sexual accusations and for wrecking the nation’s economy, rather than anything you ever do. In other words don’t rush to salvage your legacy, a hasty man makes to many foolish mistakes.
Let me take the time to highlight how incompetent you are; I do this as an aid, to get you to proceed with caution in tackling this project. The development of St Vincent and the Grenadines is not about you or the restoration of your legacy but it is about creating a better place for the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines today and positioning SVG for a better future.
Now a private jet arrived at the airport at Argyle in St Vincent and the Grenadines, with potential investors in the new city. Among the investors that you met at the airport at Argyle was the reputed and convicted criminal, Dr Conrad Maury, the man who was convicted for the homicide of Michael Jackson. You denied in a press conference that you knew Maury was a part of the potential investors until someone pointed it out to you.
How idiotic of you, being a head of government of a sovereign nation, meeting with investors and you did not have a file on each person that outlines who they are (their identity), their criminal history if they have one, their assets, the type of and investment history, as well as their interest in St Vincent and the Grenadines. Such a background check is so easy to do that there is no excuse; you can make to justify your ignorance of the people you met with. In the future, before you meet with any investors, you must have background checks that give you the knowledge of the persons:
2. Criminal history if they have one
3. Their assets
4. Their business interest
5. Business history.
It is foolish to try and negotiate from a place of desperation. When we do such we end up with investors like David Ames, the Canoun investors, people like Dr Roller, etc. – people who steal from our country and take advantage of our citizenry. Please be mindful that you are not running that failed law practice that you had and are so afraid to return to; however, you are running a country.
The Issue of the City
On the issue of the proposed city on the site of the decommissioned ET Joshua airport, there are some very important things you must take into consideration, and primary of those are: we must build a city for near future use. As a result, we must also consider near future us as well as distant future use of that city. Each city has a useful life span, after which the tearing down and rebuilding period starts, where we see new and modern building designs produced and utilizing new building technological advancement. In most case taller buildings are designed and constructed to accommodate rapid population growth, etc.
There are other things that come with increased population, such as larger vehicle traffic, larger volume of pedestrians, an increased volume of waste, etc., therefore the layout of the city must have some elements of distant future development associated with it. Knowing how anxious you are to see a city built; I will tell you this simple fact, the development of a new city, even a small city, is a 30- to 40-year project. Therefore, it was not a smart move to bring investors to see the proposed area for development at this stage, unless you are planning to sell the lands to them wholesale to fatten your own pocket.
When we talk of a new city, there are some things we must take into account before potential investors are invited to look at the area. This will prevent the same types of bumble that occurred with the airport at Argyle. It is called basic planning. To save St Vincent and the Grenadines the type of problem you are known to create, I have taken the time and I did all of the research and, after looking at a photograph of the site to be developed on the internet, along with the little knowledge of the land that encompasses the site on which the ET Joshua airport lay, from my measurement, I estimate that there are about 281 acres of land that make up that site, give or take 100 feet.
We cannot have a squat like venture going on at this site, because this is an opportunity for a well-planned venture; we must pay attention to the following things:
a) Proper survey of the area
b) Standard dimensional blocks,
c) Well laid out streets,
d) Well laid out curbside parking
e) Well laid out sidewalk,
f) Well laid out gutters
g) Road gradient that will facilitate adequate and consistent water runoff.
To be continued…
Allan H. F. Palmer