PHILIPSBURG:--- As Manager of the Walter Plantz Square (WPS), I have taken note of the content of a press release that was issued by the Democratic Party (DP) of St. Maarten regarding an event that took place at the WPS on July 5.
The DP press release says: “Government, PJIA and St. Maarten Harbour Group of Companies caught up in political sponsorship.
“My thought on the St. Maarten Day of Worship 2016, held on July 5th, at the Walter Plantz Pier: Good Initiative and great potential for a summer activity. This if managed well could be included in our summer tourism package.
“It however, was unfortunate that politics sneaked into the event. Why do I say this? Several patrons expressed their disgust that during the event political pamphlets were handed out. Notwithstanding these pamphlets regarded the St. Maarten Christian Party, this is still a Political Party. How unfortunate it would have been if more political parties would have used this venue to spread political propaganda. This is, far as I can ascertain the only “blemish” on an otherwise exhilarating event. This only goes to show that sponsors, especially government and government related entities should exercise caution in supporting events, especially during these political times we are in.”
I would like to set the record straight with respect to the allegations made. The WPS is open to organizations, companies and other entities who would like to host their event at the square. The event of July 5th was not a political event nor was it organized by a political party. The policy of WPS is that it would not be used as a venue for any political public meetings. I would like to emphatically state that WPS did not sponsor any political event.
Organizations and businesses utilize the local businesses at WPS which benefits our smaller local entrepreneurs and brings business activity to the area creating an economic spinoff because of their involvement.
The event of July 5 was organized by Grego Tours & Production which is not a political organization. We are well aware that with parliamentary elections around the corner, there will be a lot of political rhetoric in the coming weeks.
The Walter Plantz Square has transformed the Down Street area since it was officially opened nearly a year ago. Many organizations have used WPS for various activities of a social, cultural and religious nature. The Walter Plantz Square is a success story.
Addison Richardson (Cell: 550-7311)