SINT MAARTEN/COMMENTARY - Closed down, victim of a possibly outdated, easily circumvented Government policy on vending licenses. That policy states (and I am paraphrasing) that vending licenses can only be issued to unemployed persons who have no other means of income.
Capt. Dino does have a day job. But I suggest we do not go down that road.... how many persons with a day job including Commissioners (when WE were The Government) and now Parliamentarians, Civil Servants and other holders of jobs in the Public as well as Private Sectors did and do not also hold taxi, bus and/or other permits that are SUPPOSED to only be issued to persons with no other means of income?
I know, two wrongs do not make a right. But Capt. Dino in his latest FB rant has a point. Why should he and his wife, two local St. Maarteners, have to jump through hoops to show their ambition, their good intentions, their entrepreneurial spirit here on their own soil? Dino and his wife ARE ambitious.
They are local as can be. They have been allowed to operate their shack for the past several years now. Their Chicken Shack has grown to be a favorite hangout for locals as well as tourists.
They offer an excellent F&B product. Taking into consideration how difficult it is for locals to get financing from our local financial institutions, thanks to Capt. Dino's day job salary, he was able to start up and grow their now well-known Simpson Bay parking lot Local/Tourist hang out, thereby contributing in a positive way to our economy in general and our Tourism in particular.
Do I believe it could use some sprucing up and made to look more presentable for the area it is in? The answer is yes. Do I believe they should not turn the newly constructed public parking lot on the Simpson Bay strip into an uncontrolled-growth, open-air restaurant without running water and properly operating bathroom facilities?
The answer is yes. Do I believe our present and subsequent governments could at times look at individual circumstances and ensure that well intentioned local St. Maarteners, especially those with a positive personal track record, are not hurt by policies that with all due respect should have been put in place to PROTECT, rather than hinder and fight local citizens?
The answer here again is YES! So, I implore the Powers that Are, to find a solution, if need be by thinking and acting "outside of the proverbial box" to allow Dino and his wife to re-open DINO'S CHICKEN SHACK on the Simpson Bay public parking lot. Their ribs are DA BOMB!!
Michael J. Ferrier
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