By RIEL MAJOR
Tribune Staff Reporter
DAYS after he resigned from the Free National Movement, some residents of Centreville criticised Reece Chipman for not being visible in his constituency while others praised him for the work he has done.
The Tribune canvassed the constituency yesterday and found numerous disgruntled residents.
One resident who identified herself as Ms Rose claimed she has never seen Mr Chipman in the community and called for him to do more in the area.
Ms Rose said: “We ain’t feel that. Reece don’t come around here and we don’t know nothing about him. When it was back-to-school, he sent someone around here with some cheap bags with one book and one pencil. Reece don’t come in Mason’s Addition, he doesn’t come around here.
“After he won election he hasn’t been around,” Ms Rose complained. “I don’t know him. We don’t feel nothing because we ain’t miss nothing. I’m an FNM supporter, but I’m going yellow next time. No one in Mason’s Addition know that man, he doesn’t come around here period.”
Another resident, who asked to be identified as Ms Evans, said the area needs to be cleaned up. She added that former Prime Minister and area MP Perry Christie did more for their community than Mr Chipman has.
She said: “The people in the community clean up around here. When we have our functions in the community, people in the community give back. We got from Perry Christie, but nothing from Reece. Perry Christie did one or two things. No one seen Reece, you can ask anyone around here.”
Another resident, who preferred to be unnamed, said more community programmes are needed to help at-risk youth.
He said: “The challenge I find is that I don’t (know) what vision is allowed in the government. The reality is the young men around here smoking marijuana, it’s like a hopeless situation. There is no support and no community programmes. What have he done? What have he really done in terms of community programmes to strengthen the community? Reece was no help and still ain’t no help (sic).
“Reece maybe successful within himself but as far as doing the role of MP, I’ve been an FNM all my life and there is no way I’ll vote for him. When you vote for a person you don’t vote for name, but you vote for what they have done. He has a track record and the track record for me don’t worth two cents.”
Another irate resident, who also asked to remain anonymous, said he’s glad Mr Chipman quit the FNM but said he won’t vote for either major party in the next election.
He said: “Look over there (at that pile of rubbish.) Out here was like this for years, from Perry Christie time. All of them joking man, we don’t be into them no more. Perry and Reece were in power and nothing change.
“None of them getting my vote next time because they keep promising the same things over and over, but don’t never deliver. They promise jobs but they don’t look out for us. They only come around when they need our vote.”
Despite the complaints from many, two residents expressed their support for Mr Chipman.
Addington Godet, Centreville resident, said he would vote for Mr Chipman if he ran as an independent candidate in the next election.
Mr Godet said: “He tried to do some things and look like he couldn’t get things done so I don’t have a problem with him leaving the FNM to be independent. As far as I’m concerned when the (former) prime minister was here, nothing was done.
“Reece couldn’t do nothing, so running independent, he could speak out freely now or more freely now. I feel as if he was allowed to do some things (by the FNM), he would have done more things. I am an FNM supporter but him leaving the party doesn’t make a difference to me.”
Carolina Strachan, another Centreville resident, told this newspaper that she’s a Progressive Liberal Party supporter but she supports Mr Chipman.
Ms Strachan said: “Reece Chipman did the right thing by leaving the FNM. He did a wonderful job for the community, he for the people. Independently Reece Chipman has my vote. He has my vote.
“Every day the side of the road getting clean up, the park coming along and for sure I know he’s putting in effort. He is helping, he did a lot. I glad Reece left, and he showed me as an FNM, and I’m a PLP what he can do, and he did it.”
Last week, Mr Chipman said the government’s handling of Hurricane Dorian as well as institutional and partisan politics pushed him to quit the governing party.
“Absolutely, it was a big thing for me,” Mr Chipman said during a press conference at his constituency office, when he was asked if the Minnis administration’s actions in the aftermath of Dorian had anything to do with the move.
“When Bahamian lives are lost and the way you would have seen lives on the street, definitely there is some accountability that needs to take place from the government.”
It was in 2017 that the first term MP unseated Mr Christie who had represented the area for 40 years. He won by a slim margin.