County of Dukes County
Office of the County Manager
P. O. Box 190
Edgartown, MA 02539
696-3840 Fax (508) 696-3841
DATE: February 14, 2013
On January 2nd the Dukes County hosted a delegation from St. Vincent & the Grenadines. The topic of the discussion was a creation of a partnership between St. Vincent and Martha's Vineyard similar to the model of Sister Cities - "Sister Islands". The core idea is that the people living on an island can better relate to each other's challenges and the restrains that the island life represents. The proposed initial activity would be a preliminary assessment of St. Vincent's fire and emergency preparedness and the identification of areas that would be a priority for improvement. ~
The Honorable Larry Palmer, U.S. Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, spoke in support of the idea of Sister Islands and the efforts to draw from each other's experience. Ms. Anita Botti, Chief of Staff of the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, who has lived on St. Vincent and is a long-time resident of Martha’s Vineyard, has been a strong supporter of this effort to bring the two islands together. She believes that the Vineyard has much to offer and this cooperation would be mutually beneficial to both islands. St. Vincent was represented at the meeting by Mr. Omari S. Williams, Minister-Counselor from the Embassy of St Vincent & the Grenadines, who explained the concerns that St. Vincent has regarding their fire prevention and suppression capabilities and answered many detailed questions about the geography,
governmental structure, infrastructure and laws & regulations of St. Vincent. Dukes County was represented by Martina Thornton, County Manager, Melinda Loberg, Chair of the County Commissioners and Charles Cotnoir, Dukes County Emergency Management Director.
Also participating at the meeting were Peter Shemeth - Edgartown Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director, Tim Carroll - Chilmark Town Administrator, Emergency Management Director and Assistant Fire Chief, Warren Doty - Chilmark Selectman, JoAnn Taylor - MV Commission Planner, and via conference call, John Christianson - West Tisbury Emergency Management Director and Chair of the Regional Emergency Planning Committee.
We would like to extend appreciation to Mr. Seth Rolbein, Senior Advisor to Senator Wolf for the coordinating efforts that led to this meeting and to her Excellency La Celia A. Prince, Ambassador of St Vincent & the Grenadines, who was instrumental in communicating St. Vincent's interest in creating this partnership and was also planning to attend the meeting.