February 03' 2009 - #99
The Mediator For The Collectivity
During its meeting held on April 3, 2008, the executive council of the island’s territorial council designated Jean Belotti as the official mediator of the Collectivity, a direct, free means of legal recourse.
Appointed for a period of five years, the mediator’s mission is to improve relations between the administration and any citizens who contest a decision made by the territorial council, or who wish to settle a dispute with the local government. He examines, case by case, the questions and claims that are sent his way, and proposes ways to solve the problem and He can also work on reforms in partnership with elected officials.
A university graduate, and airline pilot for over 30 years, Belotti has served as a judicial expert in aeronautic matters for over 20 years and has lived in Saint Barth for 15 years. The island’s politicians consider that “thanks to his personality, his professional experience, his availability, and his knowledge of the local territory, Monsieur Belotti represents the ideal person to occupy this post,” as was stated in the deliberations last April.
The press release issued last April also indicated that the “officials hoped to establish an independent, neutral means of mediation, capable of judging the claims and serving as an intermediary in various situations of conflict in order to help find a peaceful solution.”
In keeping with the current laws, the approach to the mediator is not direct; it must go through an intermediary such as a senator of member of the island’s executive council. The citizen desiring the advice of Jean Belotti must first create a dossier, and then make an appointment with the senator or member of the executive council, who will consult the mediator. All dossiers must contain a clear description of the problem, as well as all evidence concerning the case (especially official correspondence with the administration, etc.), allowing the proper authorities to verify that the case has merit and requires the expertise of the mediator, as well as make sure the dossier is complete before sending it on.
Requests addressed directly to the mediator, by written or verbal means, are not official. In addition, disputes concerning civil rights (actions between individuals) or those of punitive nature (aggression, menace, etc.) are excluded from his mission.
Information concerning the mediator is being prepared and will appear on the Collectivity’s website, allowing citizens to familiarize themselves with this role and get practical information. Jean Belotti, who began his new duties at the beginning of the year, has an office above the treasury in Gustavia.
Exhibit: Birds Of The Island
Since last December, there has been an ongoing series of art exhibits in the island’s galleries. One of the most anticipated exhibits for February is that which has been organized by artist Jennifer May in her studio in Gustavia, across from the Crédit Agricole bank. A painter with a cheery, dreamlike style, Jenny creates a very warm, personal ambiance—quite bohemian—in which she shows her work as well as the work of other artists.
This year, she decided to organize a show, from February 7-21, whose theme is the birds of Saint Barth, with work by various artists including American photographer Rebecca Field, who has visited the island for over 20 years and has many images of the birds of Saint Barth.
A member of American associations for the preservation and defense of birds, and their habitats, Rebecca has photographed birds all over the world.
Here photos have been seen in such publications as Birder’s World, and the exhibit in Saint Barth will allow people to see her work as well as the acrylics and paper-machier sculptures of birds by Jenny May, the paintings of Aline from Lurin, jewelry by Nathalie Gumbs, and pieces by jewelers Albert and Jo-Anne from Les Artisans.
In addition to the exhibit, Jenny has also organized an art competition for children. Open to kids of all ages, the competition is on the theme of birds, asking them to design or sculpt a bird found on the island as a way to teach them about the island’s resident species of birds.
The competing works should be brought to the gallery before the exhibit closes, and a jury composed of artists will present an artistic prize to the most beautiful creations.
Snowy Egret. Photograph taken by Rebecca Field in St. Barth.
More to come