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A Beautiful City and a Starving Population

Image of Kensley Peter Charlemange
Image of Kensley Peter Charlemange
Independent Eye by Kensley Peter Charlemange

YOU can say what you want about this administration but if anyone commands any admiration it is Mayor Peterson Francis. He is working. Apparently, he is doing more in this office than he would have done as a parliamentary representative for Castries Central.

So far, I cannot point to one thing the Representative for Castries Central has done. If she is doing anything, she sure is not blowing any horns, but the Mayor sure is — a bit too much, if you ask me.

Castries sure needs a lot of attention. It is not a city that I am proud of. It is in a deplorable state and the city stinks. But its redevelopment and resurgence cannot be piecemeal. The plan has to be holistic. And believe me, there are plans. But this is Saint Lucia where we spend a lot of money on plans, 20/20 vision plans, quadrant plans: a whole load of plans, I tell you, but they are just sitting on some government shelf taking dust.

A lot of the issues that Mayor Francis inherited did not happen overnight. They are the small things that we have overlooked year after year.

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That the Office of the Mayor wants to crack down on minor offenses is a move in the right direction. That they want to bring more activity with the Saturday night jam is a good thing. That the city streets have been cleared of obtrusive stalls off congested sidewalks is commendable. But where are those vendors now is my concern?

The latest now are the small shop-owners on Lower Darling Road, people, I am hearing, who have been there for twenty years. All of a sudden they remember there was a road and the CCC seems to be washing its hands of an involvement or interference. Was there not a road or roads leading out of the Boulevard onto Cadet Crescent and connecting to Bourbon Street? Just asking.

But what happens to those business-owners is my worry. They must vacate but what is the alternative arrangement in place for them? Is this the beginning of draconian rule?

But then again, we were warned. When fear is struck into the heart of the media from the start of this administration, the dictatorship started a long time ago. Draconian leadership does not start all of a sudden. It creeps stealthily on the unsuspecting eyes.

They are beautifying the city but for whom? The mix of businesses and residential is becoming lopsided. The city is dying but the country is already dead, according to one local poet. The city beautiful but the people hungry — vision 20/20.

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