On January 21, over 46,000 Tobagonians will be heading to the polls to vote for the new team to lead the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) over the next four years.
Of that number, some 3,961 are registered to vote in the electoral district of Goodwood/Belle Garden West according to the Elections and Boundaries Commission's (EBC) supplemental voters list.
The Sunday Express today shares the views of the three candidates from the Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP), the People's National Movement (PNM) and The Platform of Truth (TPT) who will be competing to represent the people of an area which has been under the TOP's control over the past four years.
A total of 36 candidates from the three parties will be contesting 12 electoral districts.
TOP candidate: Steve Jack,
(did not disclose age), incumbent
for the electoral district
Why should you be re-elected?
My vision is to see Tobago develop in such a way that we can sustain ourselves especially the Windward end of Tobago which is now neglected.
I am the incumbent for the electoral district but I was on the minority side so some of the things I would have liked done I could not have gotten them done as our political culture is one where the person in Opposition is not readily assisted.
I think I did achieve some things in that I was instrumental in having cable TV service provided for the areas of Pembroke and Glamorgan.
I would have liked this done in Goodwood as well but there are issues with the increased cost in cable rates.
Therefore, once we get into power we have already decided that we are going to subsidise the cable company rates so that everyone can have the service.
In terms of Internet service, there are many areas that do not receive this service, the people are starved for information as you do not even get good reception with local programming. These are things I intend to improve.
The road networks need to be developed especially access roads, I have gotten some of them done by making requests through letters and bringing these matters to the fore in the House but there are still more to fix because this area is an agricultural area in Tobago and Tobago should be able to feed itself as we have good arable lands.
Farmers need to be encouraged and the tractor pool service where the farmers would use equipment to till their land is not sufficient.One of my intentions is to establish a branch of the tractor pool so they would get that service more readily available to them.
I am a person who likes to get things done. From since my youth days in my community, I was involved in a lot of community work and I pride myself on getting things done. I am also a very fair and humble person.
PNM candidate: Hayden Spencer, 50,
retired police officer.
Why should you be elected?
I should be elected because the current representative for the area has neglected the community in terms of youth development, in terms of agriculture and social programmes especially in getting the elderly involved in interacting with the youths.
There are a lot of things that can be done in this region because we have three fishing industries and a wealth of resources in terms of the culture of the people like in Pembroke who have been neglected.
The present representative was not able to bring the people together; he concentrated only on pan as he is the head of the steelband Metrostars.
In sports, we have a lot of football teams in each village and they have not been given any assistance or encouragement.
I was involved in activities with these groups before and my coming on-stream is to get the people motivated, to empower them and let them know they are an integral part of developing their community. People must have a say on what should be driven in their communities, the rights systems must be put into place in terms of the village council, the sports clubs, the youth groups and women's league need to work together.
The first step will be to get the people motivated, the THA under the PNM already has a plan and once the people are empowered we can bring this plan to life; make it a reality.
I am a warm, friendly and approachable person, anybody could talk to me, I have always been a people's person. I was a police officer for 31 years and in that 31 years I always gave to the community wherever I worked, I was always talking to youngsters, interacting with the people and I want to continue in that sphere, to assist in developing the people of all age groups.
TPT candidate: Petrina Shanghie-Mark, 37, assistant artificial
insemination technician with the Division of Agriculture.
Why should you be elected?
As a candidate representing the TPT, I should say we because it is all of us working for the development and empowerment of Tobago and we would like to bring this to the people of Goodwood/Belle Garden West where everyone in my constituency can be empowered and can share in Tobago's development.
It is not really about being a TPT or a TOP, we are looking at Tobago on a wider scale, Goodwood/Belle Garden West is a very rich and dynamic area. We have a cultural park at Pembroke. These are just a few of the things we can tap into and put it into motion where the entire constituency can benefit from and develop.
We have quarries at Mt St George and that's another great source where so much revenue can be derived and can come into our constituency and aid in the development of Tobago and the people.
I believe I can offer, under the leadership of Mr (Hochoy) Charles, we can bring to much so the constituency of Belle Garden West/Goodwood.
I am a work in progress where God is concerned, I love God very much and I think because of my love for him I have a deep love and appreciation of people.
In my life, I would have learnt along the way to say sorry, I would have learnt to allow people to say sorry. I am a people person. I do artificial insemination with the Division of Agriculture and in my line of work it is mandatory that I am a people person, it gives me the opportunity to meet a wide spectre of people, it humbles me as a person and helps me to be a more caring individual.
I think the experiences along the way have developed me and helped me to be the person I would continue to grow into.