Attention all concerned citizens,
It is with great disappointment and urgency that I bring attention to a recent incident involving a high-ranking employee in the Public Works / VROMI department Mr. Mario Jones. Yesterday, this individual grossly misused their power during an encounter with a locally owned restaurant. As the owner, I simply asked a question about the purpose of their property measurement, and in response, this employee erupted into an unwarranted rage. He rudely asserted that I had no right to inquire and callously declared that my renewal permit for next year would not be approved. To add insult to injury, they disrespectfully implied that I was somehow less of a St Maartener than he is.
The behavior exhibited by this employee was not only uncalled for but completely unacceptable. His colleagues present at the scene were so disturbed by his actions that they walked away, leaving me and my establishment in shock. Eventually, one of his colleagues returned and apologized on his behalf. Mr Pompier briefly explained that the measurements were being taken to establish legal sizes for each restaurant, as there are currently no regulations in place to ensure fairness and accountability. While I understand the need for such regulations, this does not justify the disrespectful behavior, abuse of power, and the threat to deny me permit renewal.
It is disheartening to learn of the numerous transgressions this individual Mr. Mario Jones has allegedly committed while holding a high-ranking position as a civil servant. From wrongfully seizing land from local St Maarteners due to minor mistakes on official documents, to being accused of sexual misconduct by a university intern under their supervision, the list of questionable actions grows longer. Yet, they seem to evade consequences, shielded by a system that turns a blind eye to their misdeeds.
These incidents raise serious concerns about accountability within our leadership and the culture of tolerance for such behavior. How can we expect individuals in positions of power to be held accountable when our own leaders overlook and sweep these actions under the table? Can we trust the minister of Public works to hold his favorite employee accountable?
We demand justice and a public apology from the Minister of Public Works in response to this matter. It is unfortunate but necessary that we hold our elected and appointed officials accountable for the actions of those they protect that are menace to society. Numerous witnesses observed the disgraceful behavior of Mr. Mario Jones, leaving us to wonder if we are now deprived of our right to ask questions. We refuse to live in fear of our livelihoods being threatened by those who believe they have the authority to strip away our rights. It is high time that individuals like Mario Jones are held accountable for their actions and that our leaders prioritize the well-being of their constituents over protecting those who abuse their positions.
Let us stand united in demanding transparency, accountability, and respect for the citizens of St Maarten. Together, we can ensure that no one is above the law and that our voices are heard.
Dino & Brenda Arrundell
Concerned, Tax Paying, Business Owner & Citizen