NASPA, A COMPANY IN TURMOIL

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The Nevis Air and Sea Ports Authority is very dear to me, being a former member of its Board of Directors from 1998 to July 11, 2006.  There is a certain pride and passion that is held for that organization and although not being a member from its inception, I certainly got on board early enough during its infancy.

Under the first General Manager, Mr. James Bowen, followed by Mr. Howard Taylor and later headed by acting GM, Mr. Oral Brandy, NASPA eventually flourished well and was hailed proudly by Premier Joseph W. Parry, in August 2006.  With Mr. Colin Dore as chairman, NASPA crawled slowly after the ravages of hurricane Lenny in 1999, and other further setbacks. The destruction of the newly built Long Point pier was startling, the insurance claim problems created headaches, yet still, NASPA overcame the challenges with great pride and dignity.

What transpired since then was actually something special, something gracious and something that eventually made NASPA, on this little island of Nevis, the #1 Port in the Caribbean.  NASPA thrived on being clean, honest and businesslike.  Under the chairmanship of Mr. Dore, strict attention was paid to policies, staffing, budget balancing, keeping updated with the international ports requirements, rules, regulations and everything possible to run an effective and efficient port, especially after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

It’s with deep sorrow today that NASPA which premier Parry lauded for its outstanding performances, now leads an example of shame and disgrace.   It now seems with even more evidence that a communistic type presence is influencing matters at NASPA.

Now, please do not get me wrong. I’ve showered praise on NASPA via print media for the paying parking lot system at the Vance W. Amory International Airport. I’ve praised NASPA via this same media for the installation of buoys at PinneyÕs Beach. I’ve also graciously congratulated NASPA for improvements made to Charlestown Waterfront and Long Point since July 2006 along with them making some wise and prudent decisions.

NASPA has done some good but recent happenings have been absolutely troubling.   IÕve marveled at incidents and occurrences at NASPA where the Vance W. Amory International Airport was recently downgraded and the main airline, American Eagle, could not land there for about two weeks because of a malfunctioning fire truck.  There are alleged rifts within the managerial staff at Long Point and utter chaos and division among employees.

The situation surrounding Mr. Ken Pemberton now cries out alarmingly for us Nevisians to open our eyes clearly and denounce the wickedness that is taking place on our island.

Ken Pemberton started work as Operations Supervisor Charlestown Port in 2000 and it didnÕt take long before he took control of that port and transformed it totally.  Ken actually hit the ground running with brilliant ideas and within a short period of time organized to put a new face on the port.

For all who knew what Charlestown Port and waterfront looked like prior to KenÕs employment, it is clear to see the complete change that we all enjoy today.  Ken not only dedicated his entire working hours into making sure all went well at the port, but also ensured excellence by his hands on presence and attitude at every possible instance, whether or not he was on work duty.

It has come to knowledge that Mr. Ken Pemberton has been granted a lateral transfer to be Warehouse Manager at Long Point.  The reason surrounding such a move is equivalent to him being told, you are fired.

One might not be aware that Mr. Pemberton also had the responsibilities of the Cotton Ginnery Mall in addition to his Charlestown Port management.  He did a marvelous job at that as well and from taking the mall from in the financial red to having a very healthy financial position, one can only shower praises on this caring Nevisian who bent over backwards and did all in his power to transform Charlestown Port and waterfront, to what it is today.

There are many other problems, turmoil, grievances and disorders that should not be taking place at NASPA.  Allegations are running wild as to what is actually taking place there and IÕm saddened as to the actual state of affairs at NASPA. Maybe, just maybe, some sober mind might step in and save the plights of NASPA.