By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
FREEPORT businessman Darren Cooper believes Ian Rolle, president of the Grand Bahama Port Authority, is not “a good fit for the City of Freeport” and should resign.
Following the ‘Take a Stand’ March to the GBPA Building on Friday, Mr Cooper expressed his disappointment over Mr Rolle’s comments and response to marchers about their lack of knowledge of the Hawksbill Creek Agreement.
“I think a lot of us in Grand Bahama have a lack of confidence in the president of the GBPA. And I think from this day forward, we will be calling for his resignation.
We have seen his behaviour and his actions. And his response says to us today (Friday) that he is not a good fit for the City of Freeport. And he needs to be replaced and removed, not later, but now,” he told a crowd of marchers assembled at his business on West Atlantic Drive.
“And the next move is to call for his resignation or to have him removed voluntarily or involuntarily because he has not represented the City of Freeport over the years.”
On Friday, Mr Rolle said the GBPA is open to constructive criticism and urged marchers to read the Hawksbill Creek Agreement and its amendments.
“Right now, there are too many emotionally charged persons who lack the knowledge because they have not read it,” the GBPA president told the crowd.
However, a young marcher said he believes GBPA executives perpetuate a double standard when called upon to fulfil their obligations under the HCA.
He said: “They want us to believe we don’t understand the HCA, and there are people like Ian Rolle who tell us we need to take our emotions out of it. How can you take the emotions out of suffering people every single day?
“When it is time to enforce the agreement, we hear… how we don’t understand it. But when (the Port) is supposed to hold up their obligations under the agreement, that’s when everything goes quiet. How long should Grand Bahamians suffer?”
For his part, Mr Cooper also criticised Mr Rolle for a recent promotion exercise at the GBPA when the Grand Bahama economy, businesses, and residents continue to struggle.
“You asked us to be patient and understanding, but you ran a promotion exercise with your top executives in a hurting and downtrodden economy,” he said.
Mr Cooper and his wife, the owners of a car rental business, claim that business licensees in Freeport are struggling to keep their doors open.
Their business has gone from a $40,000 a month intake to $3,000 or $4,000 intake, and they have been operating at a loss for some time, Mr Cooper said.
“Businesses have not only light, rent, utilities, and staff to pay, but also mortgages. And, in some cases, a husband and wife depend on the intake of the business. We have been understanding; we have been operating at a loss for a little while, and this is the cry of most Grand Bahamians,” he complained.
birdiestrachan 1 year ago
I am not a fan of Mr: Ian Rolle. But those who march are being unfair to him.
Why attack him and not St Georges or the Haywards,
Mr: Rolle is only a figurehead. He does not call the shots.
TalRussell 1 year ago
Comrade Mr Rolle said he thinks de GBPA is open to constructive criticism but only by those Feeporters' who were so inclined to read Sir Stafford Sands and Wallace Groves 1955 Hawksbill Creek Agreement along its amendments and not just experiencing living under it/them?
Comrade McAlpine, actually thinks that Conchy Joe's,** had joined in de peaceful march to the Grand Colony's Port Authority headquarters on Friday, ― Yes?
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