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Feb 1, 2008

… While it’s accountant versus educator in Caribbean Shores

Story PictureWhile the two attorneys fight in Freetown, next door in Caribbean Shores two other professionals—an educator and accountant—are squared off in a conflict of equal intensity. Ann-Marie Williams visited with both campaigns.

Jose Coye, P.U.P. Incumbent, Caribbean Shores
“We have gone out there, we have filled the soil, planted the seed, we have nurtured the trees; we have done the pruning. It’s time now to harvest.”

The time of reaping February seventh, is fast approaching and incumbent P.U.P. Area Representative for Caribbean Shores Jose Coye is optimistic he’ll be returned for a third term because he says he’s sown good seeds.

Jose Coye
“We created opportunities for people to own their homes. We—during my term, we did some of the major authories; the Coney Drive, the University Boulevards. We paved streets in the Coral Grove area, we did some in the West Landivar area. And now we want to continue that development especially in the new year as the inland divisions of the University Heights area and of course make improvements in the drains. So we have done those things so far in terms of visible infrastructure and development. We build one of the loveliest parks in the city, the Dolphin Park. We did the Seashore Drive Park, I think that was a great park. We have started the Coral Groves Park, we have started the landscaping and that’s a fifty-five thousand square foot park.”

The U.D.P. candidate Carlos Perdomo, a former Permanent Secretary in the U.D.P. administration in the 1990’s is banking on unseating him.

Carlos Perdomo, U.D.P. Candidate, Caribbean Shores
“I think my opponent’s record has been smeared over the last few years. I think the P.U.P. government has done a lot of horrendous things.”

“I know a lot of the young men in area five don’t even have a driver’s license so we will try to do a driver’s training for both men and women because that is a step into employment. We will also do something with the women maybe doing something organized for braiding hair or baking.”

Ann-Marie Williams
“Small income generating?”

Carlos Perdomo
“Small income genereating things and we’ll try to see if they could set up lee businesses, lee panades shop, they could start with or luncheonettes.”

Both candidates are trying to establish a credible campaign record by leaving no door un-knocked, whether blue or red; in this important fellweather division of close to five thousand voters.

This seat was first carved out in 1984 by the P.U.P., although the party never won it until 1998 when former U.D.P. Prime Minister Manuel Esquivel suffered his first loss to Jose Coye.

Jose Coye
“What you’re looking for is a representative that can address the issues that we were talking about in the earlier part of the interview. How do you get a representative to represent you, whether it be in a position or whether it be in government. To be able to achieve for your constituency, the thing that we spoke about; education, health, infrastructural development, security. That is what I think it is about and I have a record there, I have served for two terms.”

Two terms which, by Coye’s own admission, weren’t smooth sailing. Coye joined forces with six other dissenting ministers in 2004 protesting against what he called his government’s inequitable fiscal policies. He later closed ranks with the cabinet and is today seeking re-election under the party’s banner.

Jose Coye
“We had our differences. We had rival ideas and opinions how we had to do things and I believe that is healthy because at the end of the day we look back and say we has the differences but we get the fruits of it. We are benefiting now from the measure we took. We had to take some macroeconomic reform, we had to carry out fiscal and financial restructuring we did them and we’re reaping the benefits.”

But that wasn’t the last for Coye. He’s been negatively associated with the sale of a large acre plot of university land which sits in his division.

Jose Coye
“U.B. was selling the land, the government intervened and I did encouraged the government to do it to see how they could facilitate the transfer of the land to the government. The government will then sell the land certainly just at the prices of the land as they are now as mangrove and swamp land. We then got a company to develop the land and it’s a tremendous amount of money to fill the land, to put in the infrastructures, to pave the streets in there, to put in landscaping, to palm trees etcetera. So what we got them to do, we encourage them to get into the development that was an innovative way of the public and private sector working together.”

Ann-Marie Williams
“But isn’t the land yours other than the government?”

Jose Coye
“Certainly not. No, no, no, no it’s not mine.”

At issue is also the prime government real estate at Putt Putt, situated in Caribbean Shores which was sold out dirt cheap.

Jose Coye
“Well, what is unfortunate about it Ann-Marie, and I agree with you in the sense that I would have preferred that if that thing could have been done at the time it should have been done. The idea was to lease that piece of land for the building. Once the building was up and it was used for that purpose I still believe that is what will be done.”

Ann-Marie Williams
“So why didn’t you intervene?”

Jose Coye
“I did but what happened at the time they were claiming that they couldn’t find the file at the Lands Department and every time they made a move to do it they say that the files were missing. Obviously, I can say for a fact that there were other interests and I can only at this time now, it was that that caused the delay.”

Carlos Perdomo
“But, more than that, the U.D.P. Caribbean Shores now has a candidate that comes with very good experience. Everywhere I have worked, I have worked successfully. We come with a record of integrity and honesty.”

Ann-Marie Williams
“There’s an ad running from the P.U.P. camp alleging that thirty thousand dollars of S.J.C.’s money went missing under your watch. Would you like to shed some light on that or defend yourself?”

Carlos Perdomo
“It’s very easy, it’s absolute nonsense, it’s not true but anybody could go to S.J.C. and check. Because then you would find out indeed that a lot of hogwash.”

If elected, Perdomo will have plenty of time to prove his honesty and integrity.

Ann-Marie Williams
“At a press conference, the party leaders alluded to you being the National Security Minister. How equipped are you to lead such a ministry? Well police minister, let me be more specific.

Carlos Perdomo
“I know the ins and outs of police work, of crime work, of the B.D.F. security issues, the Guatemala issue. So it’s not going to be a new job. There are new situations and new problems.”

Margaret Vernon
“I’m supporting Carlos because he’s honest and I’ve known him since I was a child and I’ve been with him all through my life and I know that he can deliver. The people of Caribbean Shore will need a change and will get a good change with Mr. Carlos Perdomo.”

Ann-Marie Williams
“Why are you supporting Mr. Coye?”

Jennifer Blease
“Because he dah the man with the plan and I dah Jose Coye all the way.”

Ann-Marie Williams for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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