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Political Newcomers | Wade Smith guns for D5 seat with shelter, tourism, sewerage initiatives

Wade Smith

By Esther Durand, BVI News Staff

Resigning his post as Commissioner of Customs after 15 years to contest the upcoming general elections, the question now on the minds of voters in the Fifth Electoral District is whether Wade Smith is the maintenance man needed to fix any issues that exist in the constituency.

To back his response of a ‘yes’ to that question, the Progressive Virgin Islands Movement (PVIM) candidate is presenting, among other things, his vision of building a proper emergency shelter in the district.

“We have to prepare for the next disaster, whether it is a hurricane, an earthquake or floods. After the [2017] hurricanes, all the houses and some roofs were gone and I ask myself, where did all these people go?”

He said he intends to revitalize plans that were already in the making to construct a community/recreation centre designed to withstand category-five storms.

Short-term goals

Along with a ‘comprehensive clean up’ in the district, the 52-year-old also intends, in the short term, to address what he describes as some pressing concerns such as sewerage in the constituency.

“Right now there is raw sewerage running in the streets at Horse Path,” Smith said.

The six-foot 10-inch tall political newcomer claimed that, while the sewerage is not always visible and was not visible at the time of BVI New’s visited the area, residents have constantly complained about sewerage affecting their sleep and overall comfort.

Smith said he also intends to address the constant flooding in Huntum’s Ghut, help those who are still living in hurricane-wrecked homes, and implement an after-school programme for students at all levels. This programme is a move to keep children in the district from loitering during afterschool hours, he said.

Fifth District economic tourism plan

In the long-term, Smith said he intends to do what he described as an ‘economic tourism plan’ for the district. The plan, he said, would be done in collaboration with private residents.

“There are a number of historical sites that are on private property,” Smith said. “There is a lot to be seen in the district, but it has to be done in collaboration with the residents and property owners.”

He explained that the idea is to find ways to access those historical sites or acquire them and, in so doing, provide a more in-depth cultural tour through the district.

Smith also said he would focus on ‘regional tourism’. The vision, he said, is to attract “persons to the BVI for reunions, functions, conferences, sports and medical tourism which will have people spending time and money in our shores”.

“As the Commissioner of Customs my hands felt tied and it became apparent that in order for me to be able to assist my country and its people, I had to make a change,” he said.

“In the past 24 years, we have seen our country handed from one government to the other and in those 24 years we are faced with many of the same issues such as allegations of corruption, overspending, mismanagement of funds, sewerage woes, water concerns, inadequate school facilities and the list goes on.”

Experience in law enforcement useful 

Smith, a divorcee, said he has what it takes to lead, and detailed personal qualities such as being a team player, having disciplined nature, and having a commitment to serving with ‘integrity’ and ‘transparency’.

With a background in law enforcement, Smith said if elected, he would use his new post as a legislator to properly fund and merge local law enforcement agencies.

In so doing, he believes the territory will be better served and protected as the relevant agencies will be working hand-in-hand and not in isolation.

The Fifth District PVIM candidate said he would, in addition, influence the urgent rebuild of the West End port that was destroyed in the 2017 hurricanes.

Smith, who said he will largely finance his campaign out of pocket, enjoys travelling and playing basketball in his spare time.

Copyright 2019 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

21 Comments

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  1. pvim heckler says:

    What have you done for basketball in the 5th as a former basketball star Mr.Smith????

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  2. Styke says:

    Respectfully although important the issues in the fifth kind of outweigh what any one individual has done for basketball. What about the sewerage, roads, human capital, culture, history of the district? They must be something I am missing because four candidates for district five is truly interesting

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  3. thoughtful sailor says:

    Hmmm…..talk of building a shelter reminds me that Customs did not bother to board up their own windows for Irma. Who was responsible for not bothering to do that? The buck stops with Wade.

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  4. Ausar says:

    As a native son from the US Virgin Islands, I know you will do well for your interested district.

    If elected, see how you can modernize waste water treatment facilities to mirror American standards.

    Such an important area with regards to to continued good health,but so woefully neglected by those currently involved.

    I feel that a win by you will usher in the changes neccessary for a more effective system.

    Good luck, Wade!

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Well well we’ll
    You were in the position to help you your people of the Virgin Islands before and after Irma,Before you caused tax payers unnecessary money and I am talking millions of dollars by making decisions that should have been thought through before acted upon ,After Irma the things that the same people that you are looking votes from the costs that people who brought their stuff through the ports had to pay when most of the causes why the people’s stuff were there and they could not get to them because of the problems facing the ports and as the chief customs officer you did not do one damn thing to help anyone other than your f—– and f—-y but now me smith we are going to show you we do not forget and whet our people moved back home how you and your staff treated them at customs you really think that we are fools around here you did the right thing by resigning you were just a w—- of time a yes man could not even make a simple decision had to ask those beneath you and to do what ? Lead us must be mad not you

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  6. EV says:

    Tomorrow, Virgin Gorda and perhaps the entire BVI will host its first ever political debate.

    Such a pre-election event signifies political growth and maturity.

    Therefore, it is hoped that such a critical event in politics will continue onward.

    Meanwhile, a vote, unlike cycles before shall not be taken for granted anymore.

    Though some still do, but mostly gone are the days when votes were cast solely on personality, family and party allegiances, like or dislike for a candidate and other reasons.

    Today, a greater segment of the population is educationally advanced, politically mature, knowledgeable and exposed.

    Thus, the appeal is now for territory wide debates beginning in the next cycle.

    This will enable the mature intellect as well as the average layman to better decipher the best politically intellectually capable candidate to ascend to leadership

    • EV says:

      And so, my fellow elected and prospective officials:

      Ask not and seek not what your country can do for you — but seek out and do what you can do for your country and people.

      Speak not to the people as though they are fools.
      Appease not the people with empty elect me rhetoric, but speak truths that you will uphold if placed to do so.

      If called, use that command to bring good to others. Use it to justify injustice.

      Bring right to those who have been wronged. Bring justice to all who have been treated unjustly.

      Bring prosperity to all, and you being the least

      Bring good ethics and morals back to our paradise; our politics; our lives and state of being.
      Bring us forward to where we were.

  7. Joe says:

    I feel good about him

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  8. Jor says:

    I know he will win

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  9. Be nice says:

    Wade is a good man, he did a lot to bring customs in to the 21st Century.

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  10. #5 says:

    Let’s go Wade
    You got my X
    Movements!!

  11. Jb says:

    What about the sewage in east end over 12 years now you could fix 5D in 4 years good luck tallmam

    • Ask Cali says:

      ASK Calvin the same question when you see him? How much time did the VIP pay him to Cane Garden Bay and other areas? At what cost? Maybe we wil go throuh the records.

  12. A good man? says:

    Ask about customs laws being broken and matters handled ‘under the table’ before jumping on this bandwagon. Raw sewerage is all over the territory, not just in this district, it needs a territory wide solution. This feels like a politician just saying what he thinks people want to hear.

    The territory is broke and I’m not hearing him talk about how he plans to fund all these planned initiatives.

    Good luck.

  13. CW says:

    So many experts in BVI that whine online without offering their own solutions. At least this man trying. Good for him.

  14. Sam says:

    Wade is a good man and I know he will always put his district first regardless. As individuals we will never ever be able to satisfy everyone. Moreover, not everyone will like us regardless of what we do, good or bad. What matters is whether we can sleep comfortably at nights know that our decisions were made in the best interests of country or organization. I see Wade as the better of all of the other candidates and he will have support of the people to elect him to office. Some of the other Candidates are just talkers and rum bubblers.

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