Joshua Smith arrived to take up the office of Administrator for South Abaco on July 15 having previously enjoyed two years and eight months as Island Administrator for Crooked Island. “Abaco is larger and there are more people than Crooked Island so there is obviously more work to do but I have been warmly welcomed by the friendly people here and I’m enjoying it very much and looking forward to serving the people of South Abaco,” stated Administrator Smith.
Mr. Smith’s first posting as an Administrator was in 2009 to Crooked Island. This followed a six-month period of training in Nassau and then some time working alongside the Administrator in West Grand Bahama. Mr. Smith is no stranger to Abaco since during his many years of work with the Ministry of Works and later as Chief Estate Officer for the Ministry of Education he frequently travelled to Abaco to inspect schools. He was also responsible for the building of schools, one of which was Man O War Cay School in the early 90s.
Mr. Smith’s jurisdiction covers a wide area as he is responsible for all of the settlements of South Abaco which include Sandy Point, Crossing Rocks, Bahama Palm Shores, Casuarina Point, Cherokee Sound and Moores Island. He was introduced to local government council members for South Abaco by former Administrator for South Abaco Mr. Benjamin Pinder during a meeting in Sandy Point soon after his arrival as he will be working closely with these government officials.
“I am trying to find out what the people really want, give them guidance and also bring my thoughts and ideas to them. The next stage will be to write to Central Government to see what funds can be allotted for the necessary projects,” stated Mr. Smith.
“The first projects I have identified that need immediate work are the docks in South Abaco. Where the mail boat arrives is in great need of something done quickly before anything happens. It is my job to see that whatever is needed gets done.” Other projects he has identified as needing immediate work are road patching and the cleaning up of certain areas.
“I am responsible for seeing that the Government’s rules and regulations are carried out. There are times when the job is very demanding. Sometimes dealing with people can be difficult but I try to meet, discuss and work with everyone as well as I possibly can. So far everything has gone very well,” declared Mr. Smith.
“My job is a challenge and I will do it to the best of my ability.” During an earlier interview when he was first introduced to the people of South Abaco at the farewell appreciation dinner for former Administrator Benjamin Pinder, Mr. Smith stated that he believes in listening to people and offered an open invitation for persons come and talk with him to work things out. “I am sure we can accomplish great things together I cannot replace Mr. Pinder who is an icon but let us do all we can to move South Abaco to the next level.”
In any spare time he gets after his administrative work is done, Mr. Smith loves woodworking. He is a carpenter by profession having studied construction science and technology at college. Using these skills he served as project manager for government for several years before becoming an Island Administrator.