EDITOR, The Tribune.
FEW people outside of Grand Bahama would recognise the name Michelle Reckley. But on the island of Grand Bahama, everybody knows her. Reckley was on ZNS at a PLP event held at a mega church based on Grand Bahama on March 17 imploring Bahamians to give her party another opportunity to govern. She is the Iron Lady of the PLP who calls the shots on that northern island. She seems to wield the same kind of authority as Grand Bahama Minister Dr Michael Darville.
It has been rumoured that she was instrumental in securing the Central Grand Bahama nomination for Julian Russell over former Port Authority executive Ginger Moxey.
Moxey told the media that PM Perry Christie called her on the night of the nomination to inform her of the party’s decision to go with Russell. Reckley, the former assistant secretary-general of the PLP on Grand Bahama, now heads Urban Renewal, despite not having the academic qualifications. Urban Renewal 2.0 has been a catastrophic failure at reducing crime.
With 600 plus murders under Christie’s watch, any chatter of the FNM’s tinkering of Urban Renewal being the reason for the hundreds of murders committed under the Ingraham government must now be put to rest. Reckley stirred up quite a bit of controversy in 2013 when she directed Urban Renewal employees to dress in the PLP colour, yellow. Listening to Reckley those, you wouldn’t know that FNMs also pay taxes in this country. She is perhaps the most partisan PLP in the country. She used to be a school caterer. They are saying on Grand Bahama that not only does Reckley at times cooks for the PM, but that she also has his cell phone number. When Darville and Moxey told the media that Freeport was booming, they weren’t lying. What they failed to do, however, was to say who exactly was experiencing this economic boom.
With a jobless rate around 19%; the International Bazaar in rundown condition with about four existing businesses operating outside of a slew of churches located there; the closures of the Memories Resort, Breaker’s Cay at the Grand Lucayan Resort, Butler’s Food World, the International Sewing Centre, Animale, Treasure Bay Casino, BETCO, Savemore Food Store and the impending closure of The Jewellery Box, it all underscores the severity of Freeport’s economic drought. There are plenty more businesses which have failed in Freeport. The closure of these businesses have directly contributed to Freeport’s excessively high jobless rate. Thousands are jobless with over one thousand plus set to enter the anemic job market this June. There are reports of families sleeping in the old abandoned Princess Resort and Xanadu buildings. There are also rumours that homeless people are living in the International Bazaar. Darville, his family, close friends and relatives are experiencing an economic boom.
The PLP Iron Lady and her family are experiencing an economic boom. They get to eat the fat of the land while many Grand Bahamians are living in abject poverty. So when Darville and Co says it’s booming in Freeport, they really mean to say it’s booming for a select group of PLPs. Grand Bahamians have a right to know how is it remotely possible for a high ranking PLP official to secure the school bus contract? With her government salary, how was this PLP able to purchase the buses? Further, are rumours true that this PLP is in the process of building a massive house in an upscale area of Freeport and has even purchased a shopping complex in the Freeport City area? Grand Bahamians are talking.
There are even rumours that this PLP has bragged that her goal is to see $1 million on her bank account during this term.
The PLP is atrocious when it comes to governing, but is very good when it comes to taking care of its cronies. Grand Bahamians are tired of the PLP. Even rank-and-file PLPs have abandoned the party on account of the PLP Iron Lady.
They are fed up with Reckley and her PLP antics. Reckley is an albatross around the neck of the PLP. She is one of the main reasons why thousands of Grand Bahamians are eager to vote out her scandalous government. I predict Grand Bahama will be going red this election season.
March 19, 2017.