In September of 2007, I wrote an editorial entitled “Deadlocked in Frustration”, where I outlined my reasons why I believe the current Roatán Municipal district should be sub-divided. Perhaps it’s time to revisit this topic. However, before doing so let me reiterate that readers have the right to disagree or even be offended by what I write, and I am not necessarily trying to convince them that they shouldn’t be. That, I believe would be a monumental waste of time and energy. And it’s somewhat depressing to have to restate the obvious.
Now back to the topic at hand. I believe most native Bay Islanders would agree that the current format has been a dismal failure. Very little has been accomplished from lower Brick Bay to West Bay. The demands of the West End/West Bay area and those of Mt. Pleasant are worlds apart. Our politicians employ the strategy of divide and conquer, therefore some areas win and some areas lose. Not a very productive formula for running a successful administration. In my earlier editorial I mentioned that there is one thing stronger than all the armies of the world, and that is an idea whose time has come. To succeed in this venture however we need the right people in the right places. I frequently get my inspiration from nature. It is said that “the secret of success is to start from scratch and keep on scratching.”
Any worthwhile accomplishment requires effort. Take the hen for instance, hard work means nothing to her. Regardless of what business prognosticators say about the price of eggs, she keeps on digging for worms and laying eggs. If the ground is hard she scratches harder, if it is wet, she scratches where it is dry. If she strikes rock, she digs around it. Have you ever seen a pessimistic hen? I haven’t. Have you seen a hen cackle in disgust at the prospect of her job? I doubt it. Yet some of us humans give up at the first sign of the slightest opposition. We could learn a lot by paying close attention to nature. Our current municipal arrangement is totally dysfunctional and completely ineffective. We need a change of format as soon as possible.
We also need new leadership that has the will, skill and courage to succeed in this endeavor. We are separate and entirely different from mainland Honduras and deserve to be considered by different standards. We have always been treated differently: in negative and punitive ways. It is not only the time to divide the Roatán Municipal territory into two separate entities, from upper Brick Bay to the Oakridge border forming a new municipality, but each individual Island being awarded it’s own representative in congress – both Utila and Guanaja deserve their own individual “diputados.”
Roatán, being the capital, should be awarded two representatives in congress. I believe that this would create at least a resemblance of fairness – today we basically have no voice in national affairs. One Congressman for all three islands no longer makes sense, and is inherently unfair. We cannot compete with mainland Honduras because we do not possess the necessary territory and will never be able to accommodate the population required to increase our representation based on the current formula. We must be judged by a different standard. It’s interesting, when the U.S. was forming its government and decided on a representative form based on population, the large states were delighted, the smaller states however recognized that they would have little say in government, that’s why the Senate was created. Therefore any law that passes the House of Representatives must also be approved by the Senate where all the states are equal (two senators per state) that way the little states are able to be heard as well. Since in Honduras we do not have a Senate we must have greater representation in Congress to be able to have a proper voice in national affairs, particularly when it directly affects the Bay Islands.
My Fellow Bay Islanders: we have a right to demand to be treated fairly. We have given enough, or should I say, enough has been taken from us and we deserve all of the afore mentioned merits and privileges. I for one will not let this issue rest until we are awarded our equal and deserving rights under the law.
We are the gateway to tourism in Honduras, and if we speak with one voice we will be heard. If we come together as one, we can get the job done. I have said this before but I think it is worth repeating: “Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice”. [/private]