Skelton-Cline Cries Foul Over Ports MD Appointment

BVI Platinum News | 8 Comments
September 13, 2018 6:07 am AST
Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
The former BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) Managing Director, Claude Skelton-Cline, who sought legal recourse in 2016 after Cabinet decided not to renew his contract, blasted the announcement that a St. Lucian national is the new Managing Director at BVIPA.

While speaking on his radio show “Honestly Speaking” on September 11, Skelton-Cline, who is currently awaiting judgment in the legal matter, complained that there is a pattern of non-nationals being given top positions in the Territory.

According to Skelton-Cline, two local persons applied for the job, but were not selected.

“How so many of our posts that were once held by BVIslanders are no longer held by BVIslanders. The latest being the gentleman from St. Lucia who is now Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority. After we’ve had two locals in the persons of John Samuels and Kevin OJ Smith, who applied for this post, and it also raises the question of some of the people who were sitting on some of these Boards. What is it about us that we continue to not trust in each other, the character, the competencies of each other.”

The talk show host said that even if the decision was made by the Board, it was ratified in Cabinet.

“Here again the BVI Ports Authority Managing Director is not in our hands; so of all us that exist in this Territory, none of us qualify to give leadership at the BVI Ports Authority. At the prison, another St. Lucian gentleman has been imported to head the prison. How is it again under this particular government that we’re allowing, that we continue to see the disillusion, the degradation, the marginalization of BVIslanders in key posts. In all of the posts that pay any reasonable compensation,” Skelton-Cline complained.

He also called on the people of the Territory to speak out on what he described as marginalization.

“I am appealing to the people, I am saying to us, I am saying to you -- are you satisfied with being marginalized? Are you satisfied with becoming a second class citizen in your own country? Are you satisfied with the behavior of this government or any other government who would seek to put you in the back of the bus, when you are responsible for putting them in the seat. How do we continue on this path?”
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Reader Opinions

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I would like to know what kind of agreement the NDP signed with St. Lucia when they decided to hold our prisoners. Everything has a cost so the public needs to know what this was/is. Imagine the Minister doesn't even visit or pay attention to the prison but yet he found himself in St. Lucia. What a thing to tell the King.
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So let's play make believe for a minute. If the minister did not visit our prisoners in a foreign land what would be your comment? We can always find something to complain about huh?! Simpleton!
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Brian Hodge
arent the two people he talking about both standing as election candidates and therefore unable to take the post ? also how come mrs underhill can still be eshs principal ? or did i miss who now in charge ?
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1 Like
you should not have been at the BVIPA in the first place.
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Mr. Cline you hit the nail on his head: "“Here again the BVI Ports Authority Managing Director is not in our hands" Because he is not in our hands he can concentrate on his job to his best ability without anyone dictating him what to do.
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My Opinion
Being a BVIslander doesn't necessarily qualify one for a top post. While this particular situation may be BVI specific, it is applicable to any country. This false sense of entitlement needs to stop. You're doing a disservice to the country. If you put country above self, you would agree wholeheartedly that the choice should be the best person suited for the position, whether that is a national of the country or an expatriate. The priority must be to have an efficiently run organisation that successfully fulfills its mandate. When we choose to be vocal on issues, we must do so not to incite unnecessary drama but to give our audience balanced information that in turn, allows them to form knowledgeable opinions. If locals applied for the job and didn't get it, draw comparisons between their education and experience and that of the successful candidate and ask the relevant questions based on that analysis. But to simply blow hot air because a local didn't get the job, that's not helpful to anyone. We should attempt to be constructive in our criticism, that's a far more useful approach.
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I wholeheartedly endorse this message. It's soo disheartening the level of discourse we have on some rudimentary issues in my country. If our spiritual leaders are allowed to perpetuate this flawed philosophy, they are poisoning the impressionable minds of our younger generation. Use your platform to uplift and educate the masses with meaningful unbias conversations Mr Clergyman. Just be objective without the personal bitterness.
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Were the candidates for this Ports Manager position made public? I don’t recall but just in case I missed it, then we can all see why a non-belonged was hired for the post. This kind of information should be confidential but if you who are no longer an employee has this kind of information it’s really sad. You seem to still have those who you previously supervised under lock and key.
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