During the regular monthly meeting of the Hope Town District Council in Great Guana Cay on May 24, the former Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham, paid a courtesy call and was given a Key to the District.
At the start of the meeting the Council took time to hold a moment of silence for Maitland “Bonefish Dundee” Lowe and Niles Pinder, who recently passed away in the district.
An official resignation letter for Donald Carey was read and regretfully accepted by the Council. Mr. Carey noted with sadness in his letter that in his seven years of serving that none of the issues or projects he sought to change or accomplish came to fruition.
It was noted that two persons in Hope Town are likely to vie for the opening; however, it is unclear when the bi-election would be held as they wait on the Ministry of Local Government’s advice.
A resolution was passed by the Council to present former Prime Minister with a Key to the District during his courtesy call.
Mr. Ingraham said that “Every time I talk about local government, your district is the benchmark. I appreciate your personal sacrifice in overcoming challenges and sacrificing your personal time.”
“There’s no better district for local government than yours,” he said. “He even said that is easier to do business in your district than it is to do business in Nassau.”
He noted that several years ago Chief Councillor Jeremy Sweeting challenged his uncle for the leadership of the council and that he’s been “elected ever since” and added that he hopes to see Mr. Sweeting become a Member of Parliament one day.
He encouraged them to keep up the good work.
The Council, since the previous meeting, received two additional proposals regarding the operation of tour/taxi services on Elbow Cay. The Council is still seeking confirmation from the Road Traffic Department on what they are able to grant or approve in regards to such a business, as there is currently a moratorium on licenses for taxis.
Mike Jones and Stafford Patterson made an additional appeal at the meeting, in light of their first foot in the door status, for the Council to place a moratorium on granting any other tour businesses for the time being as oversaturation of the market could cause the market to fail for everyone.
While the Council deferred until they hear from Road Traffic it was noted that while there is no desire to enable monopolies in a free market, it was considered that the size of the market may lead to only one business being approved initially for the first year before allowing mote entries into the same limited market.
Scott Ferguson of Albury’s Ferry is seeking a taxi – hop-on, hop-off service – for Hope Town and would tie it in with packages for visitors coming to and from the Cay on the ferry.
He also wanted to clarify that Albury’s Ferry is not responsible, as some rumors have suggested, for the traffic congestion and speeding that is a concern in Guana Cay. He said that their ferry service only goes to the pier at Baker’s Bay.
Mr. Sweeting noted as well that the Council cannot dictate how Baker’s Bay employees get to work.
Richard Montefort, home owner at Fisher’s Bay on Great Guana Cay, noted that there is a long-standing issue with dumping at the public dock next to his home; an issue he brought up one and a half years ago.
It is understood that the freight company is supposed to move palatized stuff, but he said it was not being removed. He said that there needs to be some effort by Council to deal with it.
Mr. Sweeting said they would look into it and noted that there is expected to be a bin coming soon for larger refuse. He added there will need to be a cleanup done as well.