SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Honourable Wycliffe Smith, Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport (ECYS) met with the newly established Monument Council to briefly discuss their appointment by law and associated duties last Wednesday.
The Council consists of Chairman, Mr. Patrice Gumbs, Senior Policy Advisor at Foreign Affairs within General Affairs, Mr. Alfonso Blijden, Archives and Application Manager within General Affairs, Ms. Marla Chemont, Marketing Officer at the Tourism Bureau within TEATT, Ms. Natasha Richardson, and Educator and Monument Owner Ms. Emmalexis Velasquez.
The positions of Secretary and Treasurer of the Council will be selected during the Council’s first meeting as an advisory body. The Monument Council is appointed for a period of four years and is responsible for liaising with the Department of Culture to oversee the issuing of monument permits, preparing work concerning heritage conservation and advising the Minister of ECYS.
Included in the meeting was head of the Department of Culture, Clara Reyes. The Monument Council solicits advice based on the Monument Ordinance and other pieces of legislation that aim to protect Sint Maarten’s tangible heritage.
The Parliament of Sint Maarten had approved the list of Council members as was recommended by the previous Minister of ECYS. However, Minister Smith thought it prudent not to appoint his own son, Mr. Donovan Smith, to the Council based on principles of good governance and integrity.