PHILIPSBURG – New Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Telecommunications, and Transportation (TEATT) Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher read a prepared statement in her first Council of Ministers Press Briefing on Wednesday, April 5.
“Allow me first to express how honored and privileged I am to be standing here today, taking on the responsibilities in the service of the people of St. Maarten. I would like to thank the honorable Prime Minister for his patience and guidance in the process that has led us to this moment, and his Excellency drs Eugene Holiday,” she said.
“I would also like to thank the leader of the USP party, MP Frans Richardson and the board of the USP for their confidence to nominate me for this position. I am sure that we are all amazed at where the road following the parliamentary elections have led, but as they say, everything happens for a reason,” Arrindell-Doncher continued.
“I would also like to thank Minister of Justice Rafael Boasman, who at times had carried the responsibilities for three ministries. I have had the pleasure of working with Minister Boasman the past few months, and his advice and guidance have been invaluable. I think Minister Boasman has done an incredible job, and I can only hope to match that level of energy and drive as I stand my tenure,” she further stated.
“Lastly, I would like to thank two families. First, my immediate family, my husband, and children, my father, my brother, and extended family for your love and support. The second family, the Cabinet of the Ministry of TEATT, who will be introduced to the public via a press release later today…This cabinet has worked diligently over the past few months in executing the task of the Ministry…Cabinet TEATT is a hardworking dedicated group of public servants, who have never stopped working since this government was sworn in,” the new TEATT Minister said.
“I would like to commend them and I look forward to doing great things together as a dynamic team. I hold no misconceptions about the work ahead for St. Maarten, and what is expected of the Ministry of TEATT,” she expressed.
“In the next few days I will elaborate more on TEATT’s priorities moving forward. Many of our goals and objectives require that all ministries work together in order to meet those objectives. I have the utmost confidence that the Council of Ministers will continue to put in marketing and the well-being of its people first. While the urgent and pending issues to be tackled are plenty and known publicly, the Ministry will be very active in communicating with the public regarding its initiatives and plans,” the Minister stated.
“Contrary to some sentiments, I want to assure the people of St. Maarten that crucial work in the tourism sector is being executed, and our product is not collapsing, as is perceived by others. I choose to give more credit to the people, who are civil servants that they are in positions to continue to do the work for the tourism sector on behalf of government. We will counter negative narrative through hard work and facts,” she continued.
“As we are entrusted with the unique opportunity to work together for a strong and secure future for St. Maarten, we couldn’t do this job without accepting and understanding that the people of St. Maarten constantly remind us of why everything we do here matters. I stand here today with confidence as I see greatness in St. Maarten. I feel it, I believe it, that it’s who we are. And that is how we approach governing. Not with fear, but with confidence, with recognition of the depths of our challenges and with confidence that together we can solve them,” Minister Arrindell-Doncher concluded.