The Prime Minister of The Bahamas has done the right thing. He has asked for and accepted the resignation of Water and Sewerage Executive Chairman, Sylvanus Petty. 

Many awaited, with much-a-baited-breath, to see what would happen to the hapless Chairman Petty after he admitted to the world that his daughter was awarded a $26,000.00 contract at the very Corporation that he chairs.  

The Petty contract has been canceled and so has the employment of the ill-fated chairman, Sylvanus Petty. In this case one cannot seek to unearth the alleged malfeasance of one person, while sowing seeds of alleged nepotism on oneself. 

I am shocked that a seemingly smart, first time elected official, Deputy Speaker of the honorable House of Assembly would seek to do something so foolhardy. Tsk! Tsk! Tsk!

Mr. Petty you should have known this would come back to haunt you. 

After having a week-long argument with a coworker on ethics and optics, I am happy to say I came out a winner because of the aforementioned decisions. Again, the Prime Minister of The Bahamas has made the right decision. 

My coworker was adamant that there is nothing wrong with awarding one’s family and friends contracts while holding the title of Executive Chairman. The argument was that if the relative or friend’s company is well qualified to take on the contract, then it should be awarded. 

I was adamant that it is simply unethical whether a company is qualified or not. 

Grown men and women who offer themselves to serve in public office must know that a bulls eye is on their backs at all times. They must know not to touch what is not theirs to take home and know to stay away from dastardly acts, nonsense, things that are unethical and bad optics. 

Seems like the issuance of contracts are hush, hush until the proverbial thing hits the fan and splatters the words unethical, trouble, cancel and then, “you’re fired!”

I remember a time when Mr. Petty was quite eager in his investigation of the doings of his predecessor as it pertained to the happenings at WSC. I am sure at that time Mr. Petty never dreamed he, too, would be up for scrutiny by the masses for what might appear to be unethical behavior. 

Now Mr. Petty assumed office in 2021 and in my opinion the investigation into his predecessor immediately commenced. What I don’t understand is that after much ado was made about that investigation, we now discover that a contract was awarded to Petty’s daughter. A real case of the pot calling the kettle black.

I don’t understand why he would think it was okay to do this. Did he think the masses would never find out? Or did he really think there was nothing wrong with this?

Members of Parliament are held to a higher standard. When their party is elected, they are sworn in with oaths that lay out what that standard is. Resignation is the key when certain lines are crossed and it should never come to a point where someone has to force or ask you to resign. Resignation should be immediate when one sees the “proverbial fan” in motion.

This brazen act is totally unacceptable. Again I say, the Prime Minister, in his wisdom, saw the muddy waters and decided to clear things up by doing the right thing.

I really don’t care much for Petty’s explanation of why his daughter was awarded a contract as it really doesn’t matter. No way, no how should a contract be awarded to the daughter of an Executive Chairman. I don’t care how much it is “prettied up”, it should never have happened.

I am just imagining what would have happened if Prime Minister Davis didn’t act on this by canceling the contract and asking for the resignation of Mr. Petty. This would send the wrong message and open a giant-sized door for all MPs and Cabinet Ministers to think it is okay to hire and award contracts to their friends and relatives. 

Now I am not one to gossip, but I heard that lots of Ministers and MPs in the former “red” and “blue” governments made a practice of this type of thing and it went unchecked. This is an entirely separate discussion. 

I am seeing a shift in this New Day PLP. I have seen its leadership go hard just to stay away from the party’s stained reputation. Tough decisions are being made and those tough decisions are making some members of the old guard in that party uncomfortable. 

In order to survive in this smoking hot political arena, political parties must practice what they preach and live up to what’s on the books if they intend to please the Millennials and the Gen Zs who make up a massive portion of the voting public. They are our future, their votes matter and clearly not only are they hard to please, but they have little loyalty to any political color. 

I wait anxiously to see what now happens to Mr. Petty. Will he magically show up in a new ministry, or will Prime Minister Davis leave him out in the cold and show him more of what he thinks about the awarding of that contract? 

I would say, the moral of this story is, don’t be petty, and remember when you dig one grave for someone, dig two. Well that’s how I see it, anyway.

“AS I SEE IT” DISCLAIMER – The views and opinions represented in this column, “As I See It” belong to the columnist and do not necessarily represent those of the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas. The views and opinions expressed in the column are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual. This column is for informational purposes only.