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Time to Level Up, Political Parties must let the Public in

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Deandrea Hamilton

Editor

Because the party leader could very well become the premier, the public should not be shunned in any political party’s process for leadership selections. Yet, for a second time in recent years, a political party has convened without adequately informing and involving the Turks and Caicos general public and while some may argue that it is party business, the 9000 members of the electorate can argue most resoundingly that we have a right to know because whomever you put forth, even though on a party ticket, ends up on our very generous public payroll. 

This past weekend, E. Jay Saunders the deputy premier and minister of finance, investment and trade fell short of gaining enough delegate support to challenge Washington Misick for PNP party leader.  His bid was not registered ahead of the National General Council meeting and so there had to be a vote on whether his late bid should be accepted by two thirds of the delegates or a small minority.  

Delegates voted 88 in support of him needing a large push and so his name was not added to the leader ballot and with Jas Walkin withdrawing his quest due to concerns about losing his government job, it left Washington Misick, essentially unchallenged and therefore returned as leader of the PNP.  

Once again, emerging from how things went down were a wide range of perspectives which boiled down to a few choice words and characterisations.  Delegates were either intimidated or unimpressed or uninterested or confused by the process.  It is yet another in party vote for a leadership change that failed on the floor.

It happened also in 2020 when Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson was challenged inside her PDM house while sitting as party leader and premier.  In an awkward twist and with a pandemic dictating how we gathered and how we travelled, an attempt to employ an electronic style of voting for the delegates across the archipelago went splat.  It left challengers in the dust and Sharlene continued as the leader of the People’s Democratic Movement.  

The party’s rules were followed, there was a message of unity preached but eight months later, the PDM suffered an historic defeat; holding onto only one of 15 district seats; the party leader also rejected by the electorate.

Only a general election can convey if that is the fate of a Washington Misick-led PNP, however, the larger more weighty message is that public participation will demand better organization at party conventions, true transparency and equitable processes which encourage leaders to come forward.  Another point for consideration, having better insight into the public’s temperature and taste for this individual or that helps the goal of presenting a pleasing slate of candidates.

As spectators of the political process of nations nearby, we see selections and elections play out for years in some cases, right on television.  There is polling and town hall meetings and live media coverage.  The process is elevated and given prominent focus, because these nations nearby recognize the magnitude of what is at stake.

The winners get to be the government!

From in party debates and campaigns to speeches and feedback on the party’s voting process, these are carried live or in reporting by media.  

Media is not given a backseat or forced to peep through windows or guess about events unravelling due to second hand information or wait days for a political party to explain what went on behind those closed, locked doors.  

No Media is allowed in because there is tremendous value in its role to offer objectivity as journalists not only observe but show in photographs and video what is happening.  Media also gets key messages out so that political parties can be heard by the masses and in turn gauge and gain feedback from the public they are angling to serve.  What the public wants, what it expects, what it needs and who the public believes can help your party to deliver that.

The 9,000 voters in the Turks and Caicos Islands are depending on the delegates to convey these district concerns in their caucuses and through their voting.  And the media augments communications in and out.

Moving towards independence demands that good governance principles kick in from the party level.  The voter wants to see accountability and transparency, fidelity and charity and succession planning.

 

Self-determination and self-governance needs an evolving democracy which is nurtured by native leaders, who should be able to demonstrate empathy, appreciation and respect for the Turks and Caicos population.  It cannot be left to the impersonal regime of British rules set up in 2011 for this territory by the British government; those are only the skeleton.  The local political leaders are expected to bring the meat and the heart to the process.

 

We see it happening already with the Constitution having undergone several meaningful transformations, with all sides of the political divide chiming in.

 

That innovation and boldness is needed at the party level now as we expect the Turks and Caicos’ political leaders to involve the people, properly.  

 

Let us know in the same fanfare you bring at election campaign time, when, you are holding these critical sessions.  Let us hear what elections there will be and who is offering.  It is healthy for new people to want to ascend within any organization and it is only fitting that the party delegates and by extension the general public is able to hear, for ourselves who wants to enjoy this upward mobility or who wants to stay.  

 

Equally interesting, is for whomever is chosen or who are already executives, to speak to the party base with the public looking on.  Voters want a firsthand view of the energy in the camp and the mantra which is motivating your supporters.

 

While it is true, that the public will not be able to vote in the party process it is certainly also true that it is worth knowing what the public thinks of anyone being considered for the party ticket in a constituency long before general election day.   It is also important to hear decisively, repeatedly what each party stands for and if your message is one that resonates with the viewing public, then maybe you will experience the gains of galvanization, conversion or persuasion.  

 

It behooves me that any party would want to skip this valuable form of ratification because at the end of the day, it matters not if you are the leader of a major political party if you end up not being a member of the Parliament. And if you are a member of the parliament, it means you are on the public payroll.

 

The public is who does the hiring and the firing.  So wisdom says, it makes good sense for the public to be more intimately involved in who makes up the leadership of your party, because they could very well be the next government of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

 

TCI voters have proven, they will reject what they do not want.

Government

Moesha Morris appointed as Senior Procurement Officer

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 Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, 28 March 2024 – The Office of the Deputy Governor proudly announces the appointment of Ms. Moesha Morris to the post of Senior Procurement Officer in the Contracts and Corporate Performance Management Department within the Office of the Deputy Governor.

Ms. Morris’ journey within the civil service commenced in 2016 when she joined the Human Resource Management Directorate as a Clerical Assistant, marking the beginning of her dedicated service to the nation. Demonstrating a keen intellect and a strong work ethic, she quickly made her mark, earning accolades for her contributions to the department’s operations.

Building upon her foundational experiences, Ms. Morris pursued higher education, completing an Associate’s Degree in General Studies (Humanities) at the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College. Driven by a thirst for knowledge and a passion for understanding human behavior, she embarked on a journey to the United Kingdom to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Oxford Brookes University.

Upon the successful completion of her studies, Ms. Morris returned to the civil service in 2021, bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and a renewed sense of purpose. With determination and dedication, she navigated through various roles, showcasing her versatility and commitment to professional development. From Administrative Officer to Scholarship Officer, and then to Procurement Officer, she steadily ascended the ranks, earning recognition for her exemplary performance and leadership qualities.

Ms. Morris is distinguished as a self-motivated, results-driven individual with a resolute work ethic and an unyielding pursuit of excellence in every endeavor. Her relentless commitment to continuous improvement is exemplified by her ongoing pursuit of professional certifications with the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply. These endeavors underscore her dedication to enhancing her expertise in procurement and project management, positioning her to provide invaluable counsel on procurement matters across government entities and public bodies.

Reflecting on her appointment, Ms. Morris expressed her gratitude and enthusiasm for the opportunity to serve in her new capacity:

“I am thrilled and deeply honored to step into my new role as Senior Procurement Officer within the Contracts and Corporate Performance Management Department. This promotion is a testament to my belief that hard work and dedication truly prevail in the professional world. I am humbled by the recognition of my efforts and grateful for the opportunity to further contribute to our department’s success. Achieving this promotion within just 12 months is truly remarkable, and it reinforces my commitment to excellence in every aspect of my work. I will remain committed to driving impactful outcomes and upholding the standards of the Public Service.”

Deputy Governor Her Excellency Anya Williams in extending congratulatory remarks to Ms. Morris stated:

It is with great pleasure that I extend my congratulations to Ms. Moesha Morris on her appointment as Senior Procurement Officer in the Contracts and Corporate Performance Management Department within the Office of the Deputy Governor.

Ms. Morris’ exemplary track record of academic achievement, professional competence, and dedication to public service make her an outstanding choice for this important role. Her passion for procurement excellence and her commitment to continuous improvement will undoubtedly contribute to the efficiency and effectiveness of procurement processes within government entities.

In her new capacity, Ms. Morris will play a vital role in driving forward the government’s public sector investment programme, ensuring transparency, accountability, and value for money in the procurement of goods and services.

We wish Ms. Morris well as she continues to serve, and my office stand ready to assist in whichever we can to aide her further development.

Congratulations on your well-deserved appointment, Moesha!”

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Government

Davis Gardiner Jr. appointed as Executive Administrator

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Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, 28 March 2024 – The Office of the Deputy Governor is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Davis Gardiner Jr. to the post of Executive Administrator within the Ministry of Immigration and Border Services.

Mr. Gardiner’s journey towards professional excellence began with his secondary education at Raymond Gardiner High School, where he demonstrated a commitment to academic achievement and personal growth. Building upon this foundation, he is currently enrolled at the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College, pursuing his Associate’s Degree in preparation for further studies in Business Management. His dedication to continuous learning and professional development underscores his ambition and determination to excel in his chosen field.

Mr. Gardiner’s appointment as Executive Administrator within the Ministry of Immigration and Border Services marks a significant milestone in his career trajectory. Tasked with providing executive administrative support and strategic guidance, he is poised to make valuable contributions to the efficient operation of the ministry and the realization of its objectives.

Driven by a passion for organizational excellence and a desire to make a positive impact, Mr. Gardiner is committed to leveraging his education and skills to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of administrative processes within the ministry. His dedication to professional growth and his willingness to embrace new challenges position him as a valuable asset to the leadership team.

Reflecting on his appointment, Mr. Gardiner Jr. expressed his gratitude and enthusiasm for the opportunity to serve in his new capacity:

“I am eternally grateful to be given this opportunity to serve as the newly appointed Executive Administrator for the Ministry of Immigration and Border Services. I am elated to serve my country and be a part of the change, a change for good that is. I am forever thankful to the almighty for the great blessings he has placed upon my life to be where I am today.

I am grateful for my family and friends who pushed me to never give up and always prove the negativity wrong.

I believe that I will do well in this position by the grace of God.”

Deputy Governor Her Excellency Anya Williams in extending congratulatory remarks to Mr. Gardiner stated:

“It gives me great pleasure to congratulate Mr. Davis Gardiner Jr. on his appointment as Executive Administrator within the Ministry of Immigration and Border Services.

Mr. Gardiner began his career with the Turks and Caicos Islands Government as the Administrative Officer with the Immigration Population Policy Council (IPPC). During his tenure, he showed an incredible work ethic that was eventually noticed by executives in TCIG.

We are happy to have him officially join the public service and wish him well in his new post.

Congratulations on your appointment, Mr. Gardiner!”

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Government

Drexanna Seymour appointed Probation Officer in the Department of Rehabilitation and Community Services

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Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, 27 March 2024– The Office of the Deputy Governor is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Drexanna Seymour to the post of Probation Officer within the Department of Rehabilitation and Community Services in the Ministry of Public Safety and Utilities.

Hailing from the island of Providenciales, Ms. Seymour’s journey towards professional excellence began with her secondary education, where she laid the groundwork for her future endeavors. Graduating in 2015, she demonstrated early on a commitment to academic achievement and personal growth.

Driven by a passion for criminology and a desire to make a positive impact in her community, Ms. Seymour ventured abroad to pursue tertiary studies in the United Kingdom. In 2022, she achieved a significant milestone, graduating with distinction from the University of Hull, earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Honours) in Criminology. Her academic success reflects her dedication to scholarly pursuits and her commitment to acquiring knowledge in her chosen field.

During her time at university, Ms. Seymour actively engaged in extracurricular activities, serving as a Welfare Officer of The Women Empowered Society. Her involvement in this capacity underscores her leadership skills, compassion for others, and commitment to social causes.

Upon her return to the Turks and Caicos Islands in October 2023, Ms. Seymour wasted no time in applying her newfound knowledge and skills to serve her community. Temporarily appointed to the role of Probation Officer in the Department of Rehabilitation and Community Services, she swiftly demonstrated her competence, professionalism, and dedication to the welfare of individuals under her care. Effective March 2024, Ms. Seymour assumes the permanent appointment to the position of Probation Officer, a testament to her exemplary performance and her potential to contribute significantly to the department’s objectives and the broader goals of the Ministry of Public Safety and Utilities.

Reflecting on her appointment, Ms. Seymour expressed her gratitude and enthusiasm for the opportunity to serve in her new capacity:

“I am delighted and grateful for the opportunity to serve in such an important role in my country. One of my primary goals as a Probation Officer is to assist the Department of Rehabilitation and Community Services in its rehabilitation and integration initiatives with the aim of reducing recidivism.

Since working with the department temporarily, I have developed a keen interest in Juvenile Justice and hope to further my studies in this area in the near future. I intend to utilize all my skills to make a positive and notable impact within the DRCS and the Turks and Caicos Islands.”

Deputy Governor Her Excellency Anya Williams in extending congratulatory remarks to Ms. Seymour stated:

“It gives me great pleasure to congratulate Ms. Drexanna Seymour on her appointment as a Probation Officer in the Department of Rehabilitation and Community Services (DRCS).

The primary objective of the Department of Rehabilitation and Community Services (DRCS) is to create a safer Turks and Caicos Islands through effective offender management and supervision in our communities while holding offenders accountable and promoting behavioral change.

Ms. Seymour’s educational background in Criminology is an asset to this department. We welcome her to the Public Service of the Turks and Caicos Islands following the completion of her studies and encourage other returning students to similarly pursue employment in the Public Service in service to our country.

I wish Ms. Seymour a most successful and enjoyable public service career as she works to make a positive contribution in our islands.

Congratulations on your appointment, Ms. Seymour and welcome to the Turks and Caicos Islands Public Service.”

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