TWO different developments in the spotlight today raise a weighty question – in the time of COVID-19, how picky should we be about the impact of projects?
The developments in question are Albany’s redevelopment of its South Ocean neighbour, and the Love Beach condominium project.
Residents in the South Ocean area spoke out yesterday about Albany going forward with the project without consultation.
It should be noted that the South Ocean resort has languished for many years. One resident talked about having a good relationship with the “previous and prospective developers that came along over the years”. That’s all well and good, but not one of those got the job done.
Over at Love Beach, one resident gets to the point. William Wong lives barely a quarter of a mile from the project site. He says sure, he wants the area to remain quiet and peaceful. He doesn’t want the extra traffic. He worries about the height of the development. But as he says: “In this time of COVID-19, there are limited jobs so we have to think about it twice before we say ‘no’.”
He adds: “It’s going to be a big trade-off for a lot of the neighbours – jobs versus their own personal comfort. They own a piece of paradise, and have to give it up to create jobs.
“Things are so tough right now that every job we can get, we need to develop… Bahamians need jobs and I can’t be in opposition to that. I can’t.”
We applaud Mr Wong for his sentiments. There can be no more patriotic thought than to put fellow Bahamians before oneself.
With that thought in mind, it puts some of the questions being asked about developments in context. Questions about what will be done with utility poles or volume of traffic seem more minor in the context of whether this is work that will put food in families’ mouths. There is absolutely a balance to be struck, but now more than ever, how heavily do some of these objections weigh on one side of the scale?
Beyond the objections themselves – can we speed up the process? Deal with the issues right away, then sign off on them and done, let the projects get under way faster so that people can be employed faster? The longer it takes to get these things off the ground, the longer we wait for people to be taking up those jobs.
In the absence of tourism while COVID-19 is tackled, development is one of the crucial areas of income for many – so what can we do to make it happen faster. There’s no point waiting a year to start one of these projects when hopefully we might all have been vaccinated and going back to the old tourism model – what can we do right now?
Lords of Do-Nothing
You couldn’t make it up.
When we heard last week about the so-called “Lords of Doom” at Bahamas Power and Light, who spent their days lazing around drinking booze and smoking weed, and paying off their foreman to let them slack off, what did you think would have happened to them?
Well, it turns out they were contractors. When BPL fired the foreman, though, what happened to the men who were paying him off?
Were they fired, do you think? Were they warned? Not at all! They were hired!
The “Lords of Doom” were given permanent positions.
It beggars belief and is exactly why so many in private industry roll their eyes at what goes on in government and in corporations such as BPL. If someone spends their days slacking off boozing and smoking, you don’t reward that behaviour. In private industry, they’d be sent packing. Is there really no one else you could hire instead? Next time you pay your BPL bill, remember you’re helping to pay the salaries of the do-nothing crew.