Political leader of the Tobago Council of the PNM Kelvin Charles, who will take the oath this morning as the new Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly, says he will give it his best shot.
Charles led the PNM to victory in Monday's election. The PNM, which previously controlled all 12 seats in the assembly won 10, while the Progressive Democratic Patriots, led by Watson Duke, captured two seats.
President Anthony Carmona and Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley will attend the 10th inauguration ceremony,at which the President is expected to deliver a brief address.
The inauguration is a grand affair in Tobago and seating in the Legislative Council is by invitation only. But officials say seating will be provided at James Park in Scarborough where screens have been set up for the public to view the inauguration ceremony, which will also be carried live on television in Tobago.
Charles told the T&T Guardian he is ready to do the work of Tobago and will "not be distracted by Duke, he has to do what he has to do, we have our plans and we need to keep faith with the people. I am going to give it my best shot and get it going as best as I can with the financial resources we have," he said.
As he gets down to business Charles has a mixture of the old and new in his team and will be relying on the expertise of those who sat in the assembly before to help the new team members. Charles himself is a former presiding officer of the assembly.
His team comprises former deputy presiding officer, Ancil Dennis, former finance secretary Joel Jack, and former assistant secretaries in agriculture, education and health, Hayden Spencer, Jomo Pitt and Sheldon Cunningham.
The newly-elected PNM assemblymen are Shomari Hector, Clarence Jacob, Marisha Osmond and Marslyn Jack.
On the Minority bench are Duke and Augustine Farley.
Charles said his first order of priority after taking the oath of office will be to deal with "house-keeping issues. One has to do a quick assessment on what is happening with regard to on-going projects, where they are, and where are we in terms of finances."
He also intends to "immediately begin to tackle issues of tourism and agriculture," two issues which he said are critical to Tobago's economy.
The new Chief Secretary wants to set up a "Tourism Authority to treat decisively with issues impacting tourism, including the issue of marketing and the tourism product." To this end he said he intends to "immediately begin consultations with stake-holders to revise the existing plan for tourism."