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Businessman blasts Govt. on recent street sweeper acquisition

- suggests there is no concern for small business persons; lack of transparency
The Roadside Equipment Services Ltd mechanical street sweeper owned by Wayne C. Todman aka Cue. Photo:supplied
Mr Todman claimed that his machine was being underutilised after receiving mostly 3-month contracts over the eight years that he has since owned the equipment. Photo:supplied
Mr Todman claimed that his machine was being underutilised after receiving mostly 3-month contracts over the eight years that he has since owned the equipment. Photo:supplied
Wayne C. Todman aka Cue said he felt victimised and undermined with the Government's purchase of a mechanical street sweeper while his was being underutilised. Photo:supplied
Wayne C. Todman aka Cue said he felt victimised and undermined with the Government's purchase of a mechanical street sweeper while his was being underutilised. Photo:supplied
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Entrepreneur and businessman, Mr Wayne C. Todman aka Cue, has lashed out at Government in expressing his concerns about the recent acquisition of a mechanical street sweeper as announced in late January 2013.

The businessman and owner of Roadside Equipment Services Ltd is calling on Government to exhibit more transparency following the recent revelation and an explanation for the inconsistency in handing out contracts to him over the years given the fact that he has a similar equipment.

“I would have never invested this kind of money for this kind of equipment,” said Todman as he explained that even persons in the Caribbean taking such risks usually have the assurance of some sort of reliable contract to work with. According to Todman, he is currently the only private citizen in the Territory in possession of a similar equipment and felt undermined by Government’s recent acquisition.

He explained that he was given the go ahead to purchase his equipment in 2004 and ever since then has only been receiving contracts on a sporadic basis, with most extending to three months at a time each year. The entrepreneur further stated that he was the first person in the Territory to have brought such equipment to the Virgin Islands and as a result of this received what he termed ‘pioneer status’ for the venture.

Mr Todman explained that he was experiencing difficulty re-paying the loan for the machine considering the nine months in each year that his machine was left stagnant and this also heavily affected the maintenance of the machine. Wear and tear on the machine was something he had not expected to endure in this manner given the constant down time. “People won’t know that it’s a three-month contract and that’s it until they feel like giving you a contract again,” he related, “it’s more pressure on the machine.”

Todman said he was given all assurance that he would have received regular contracts once he had purchased the equipment but to date has only twice received a six-month contract in any given year over an eight-year period.

He further stated that he has written several letters to various government departments with little to no success regarding the inconsistency and has been constantly frustrated over the years by the lack of responses and "empty promises" to have the matter dealt with.

The businessman complained of feeling victimised and undermined.

According to Todman, as a small business man, he would not benefit from the same guarantees that a government operated machine would with regard to contracts and maintenance since securing parts and effecting maintenance are much more difficult given his situation. He stated that even though his machine was down at the moment, this offered no excuse for the way contracts were delivered in the past.

“It’s not about the small business man anymore,” Todman asserted, “… they don’t care who they knock off or they take out.”

He also questioned the reasons for not extending a contract similar to garbage disposal companies since the functions were similar in nature to his business. Todman added that he has been given a ‘run around’ regarding what was going on with his contract with the government when he requested meetings with various officials.

Asked whether he felt the situation was discouraging for other entrepreneurs, he replied, “It’s a scary situation… even though you’re setting a trend… governments change but [whether or not you’re] in favour with them, they find a way to make you suffer… they don’t care.”

Further, he claimed that payments for work he has done in the past have come after long delays with several months elapsing from time to time before he actually received payment.

Todman also stated that the machine should not only be seen as a measure for the tourism industry, but also for fellow Virgin Islanders, “Let’s not do it for the tourists alone, let’s do it for us, because we live right here… you don’t know what kind of diseases and germs we could pick up,” he said.

He claimed that there was much more to the situation than what met the eye and an explanation was needed about what government’s true intentions really were.

45 Responses to “Businessman blasts Govt. on recent street sweeper acquisition”

  • Mastic (11/02/2013, 08:30) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    and they want youths to go into farming!!! Its the same thing they r going to do the young people not help them find market. Here we have an ambitious young man and who made such a mammoth investment, is VIlander and this is how they bending him over, a cry of shame on the Governments. At least the could have seen him thru to the point of paying off his loan or even purchase the machine from him. Good gooing in supporting n encouraging local entreprenurship guess man others got similar stories. a certain category of BVIlanders gat really toxic minds.
    • Linky (11/02/2013, 09:27) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
      yes but wa happen when his machine down for months the road should stay dirty? nothing wrong with govt bringing one machine now we have 2. the island could use 2 more even. so all is not lost.
      • girl (11/02/2013, 22:53) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
        That is what u call positive thinking....they making it seem as though town is the only road that needs cleaning......wen his machine was down as you say we had to wait on him....i bet he had a contract and that is a definite pay....but suppose the government decide he has faulted on his contract for the equipment being down and he had to pay a fine what would he say n do then
  • oops (11/02/2013, 08:37) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    he should've just leased the machine to the government
  • nonsense (11/02/2013, 08:45) Like (27) Dislike (11) Reply
    It is NOT the governments responsibility to provide anyone with work. When one is going to invest in a business they need to find out whether or not it's feasible to do so. Find out whether work outside the government can sustain your business.

    To many of our people expect to sit on their behinds and receive contracts from government to sustain their businesses. Go and approach hotel, guest houses, etc and see if the service is needed.

    We as BVIslanders need to be proactive and not wait for others to push and provide work for us. Get up out your playroom and go out and seek contracts from other sources. Whose fault it is that your machine has been parked up for months with no work, the government? No it's your fault, seek other sources of income, maintain your machines regularly so if you do get a contract from other sources, you wouldn't loose them because you can't provide the service.

    As a BVIslander, I am sick and tired of us just wanting to sit on our behinds and expect the government to give us work. We want the government to cut expenses and manage their finances better but we also want them to pay us for things they already have people hired to do. They can't continue to do both.
    • Cr**k (11/02/2013, 23:36) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
      @nonsense, I must say that you are NDP first NDP second and NDP third. What a rotten hyprocret you are. When the BVI Investment Club kick up marched, and litterally bought out every talk show on the island because they thought that their cash cow was going to die (Government Water Contract Monopoly), your sorry **** was one here chawhooing about how the government sold out. You didn't know that Ocean Conversion should look to sell their water to hotels etc?

      You are one sorry **** who should stay off VINO. The readers here don't need your type. Go to that other site where hyprocrets like yourself find a good life.

      Que boy don't give up. The NDP won't be around much longer.
  • Entrepreneur (11/02/2013, 08:47) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Cue, I feel your pain man! For some reason with these Governments if your bank book ain't fat they don't want to deal with you. Sit down and have a meeting with them and present a proposal they say they will get back to you and about 6 months to a year the same idea you proposed is being done by someone else. God help us in this place!
  • Cuttie (11/02/2013, 08:53) Like (5) Dislike (4) Reply
    I have one question to ask. Did his VIP Government do any better?
    • vince (11/02/2013, 10:41) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      do what better. they just love bash ndp because they know they wont respond. the man had a good idea but went about it the wrong way. I was never investing in that unless i was getting an annual comprehensive contract from government like the garbage truck guys get. we got to stop building ourselves around politics becuase politicians and governments change. it was a stupid idea to buy that thing and not ensure you have a full time contract. i don't think all is lost though. keep pressing on and negotiate a better contract. one sweeper cannot service the island so you can still get work. besides, as someone else also said, what happen to doing private contracts as well? what happens when government can no longer afford to hire trucks and backhoes but rather use the ones at PWD then what? why people don't do a proper business plan before buying equipment then expecting government to just support them 'because' dem from here. nonsense.
      • check it out! (11/02/2013, 21:05) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Never, ever, sign a contract with the NDP Government. There is a significant risk that the NDP Government will not keep its side of the deal.

  • BREAKING NEWS (11/02/2013, 09:03) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply

    But I thought this was the party of the business man? See I done tell ayo NDP full of it…$#!t bad for the little man bad for indigenous people!

  • Linky (11/02/2013, 09:25) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    how much he was charging government? das the question. pwd have 3yd and 20yd trucks but private trucks still get work. wsd have a sewage truck but private sewage trucks get work. solid waste got garbage trucks but private contractors still get work. govt buy one machine and u think tis deh end of the road? having a monopoly is not alwayz good. ask him how much he was charging gov.
  • Hunthumsghut GAL (11/02/2013, 09:53) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Unfair Practice and Governmental Deception

    Any fraudulent, deceptive, or dishonest trade practice that is prohibited by statute, regulation, or the Common Law.

    The law of unfair competition serves five purposes. First, the law seeks to protect the economic, intellectual, and creative investments made by businesses in distinguishing themselves and their products. Second, the law seeks to preserve the good will that businesses have established with consumers. Third, the law seeks to deter businesses from appropriating the good will of their competitors. Fourth, the law seeks to promote clarity and stability by encouraging consumers to rely on a merchant's good will and reputation when evaluating the quality of rival products. Fifth, the law seeks to increase competition by providing businesses with incentives to offer better goods and services than others in the same field.

    Although the law of unfair competition helps protect consumers from injuries caused by deceptive trade practices, the remedies provided to redress such injuries are available only to business entities and proprietors. Consumers who are injured by deceptive trade practices must avail themselves of the remedies provided by state and federal Consumer Protection laws. In general, businesses and proprietors injured by unfair competition have two remedies: injunctive relief (a court order restraining a competitor from engaging in a particular fraudulent or deceptive practice) and money damages (compensation for any losses suffered by an injured business).

    “(O)n a whole range of issues, there has been a massive popular shift in public opinion toward a progressive critique of the current political economic system. It is, of course, largely subliminal, not carefully worked out, and lacks a coherent vision for what needs to be done -- but there can be little doubt that this shift has happened, and is deepening. People are increasingly disenchanted, and they are hungry for alternatives.”

  • egg face (11/02/2013, 09:59) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    So lesson number one, the world moves on, otherwise we will never learn from the mistakes of the past, get used to it.

    • Liat 521 (11/02/2013, 15:25) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Tragic.!! another Virgin Islander left behind to suffer finacially
  • Im just saying (11/02/2013, 10:01) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    Cue machine down for three the meantime should the island remain dirty until he decides to fix these machines? Are we not a tourist destination? Get up and go look work and stop letting the tall man from customs advise you in foolishness.
  • yellow (11/02/2013, 10:15) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    This issue of the NDP oppression will keep spinning until we all get dizzy from it
  • nbc (11/02/2013, 10:32) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    This poor man doesn't stand a chance against what is now taking place in the BVI. I fully support the view that Ministers of the Government should not be allowed to compete against private enterprise. This deceptive practice of setting up companies in the USA and selling goods to the Government through those companies is unethical and should be stopped.
    Everyone knows that products made in China cannot be compared to those made in the USA or Europe. It is only a matter of time before the cock crows.
  • coach (11/02/2013, 10:46) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Put in the tall man....hunthum's ghut ayo listening?
  • Hunthumsghut GAL (11/02/2013, 11:07) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    "it is a conflict, the minister of Health has a company that supplies everything to government. Only inferior products from China. Government should not be in the business of competing with local businesses, they should try to create policies to help the small businesses in their country. There are a number of other products supplied to government through the ministers company and tis should stop. This is a serious conflict of interest, in america we call it insider trading what is it called in the BVI.

    when there was the liberalization of the telecom industry here in the BVI the government of the day which is the current government attempted to compensate themselves 30 mil for future loss of business, are they willing to compensate this young man for future loss of business like they were will to do for themselves" food for thought.

    • vince (11/02/2013, 12:08) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
      so how conflict does only be brought up for certain people and not others? ralph sold fuel to bviec for years. alvin got paid for his building in advance before govt even put a chair in there. fraser getting paid for a waterplant on his land who get their contract from govt. when u talk one talk all man. if ronnie is doing this then its wrong but u all need to call out all these wrongdoings not only the ones that suit u. greed will kill this place.
      • ABC (11/02/2013, 18:51) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        You set of hypercritics, just a few weeks ago you were calling for Ralph to be Knighted now you telling the world what bad things he use to do. At some point this thing has to stop. We can't recall the past but we can chart a new path for the future.
        Whether the good come from China or not is neither here nor there. What matters is who is importing them. If it is a Minister this can only be described as corruption. They got away with the Hospital, the Green Houses, the Purcell Gut not to mention Cline Skelton and the $700,000 dollar scandel. THIS NEEDS TO STOP!!!
      • Bull (11/02/2013, 23:56) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        @vince, very often I see your lies, and at some point someone will be held accountable for stories like this. When yo say Fraser I gues you mean the Hon. Fraser, and he does not own the land where the water plant sits. And besides, the government does not pay any money to anyone for that land. Your jealousy is what is guiding you to say crap like this.
    • You lie! (11/02/2013, 13:07) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      America buys almost everything from China so what is your point. In the US you say? Well you obviously dont know anything about global trading. Do you shop at Walmart? Where do you think most all of their inventory is from? Did you know at one point Victoria Secret panties were manufactured in Santo Domingo, Have you no idea that ALMOST EVERYTHING IS MADE IN JAPAN, TAiwan......You are reall idiot and dont have a clue. Why by from the middle man when you can go straight to the source
  • Hunthumghut GAL (11/02/2013, 11:12) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
  • Pual (11/02/2013, 11:37) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
    It is crystal clear that the government has not only mimicked his idea also refuses to give the man consistant work. I own businesses myself and I am fed up with the governments tactics in trying to take out the small businesses. I completely understand what is going on here. He is right, there is more thsn what meets the eye. Your not alone Cue, a lot of us are tired of these politically driven tricks and schemes being pulled by the government. We must take a stand. We will NOT accept this. Despite of this, I hope you are able to reach an agreement with the NDP and work out a contract much more long term.
    • open wide (11/02/2013, 12:17) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      Finally some one has the backbone to speak out on the wackjobs done to the people by the NDP!!!!

  • FGyal (11/02/2013, 12:09) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    Ok lets get this straight. Tell me how could a minister be involved in buying an equiptment from China for pennies and then turn around and sell for quadriple to his own governemnt. This is highly a conflict of interest and it needs to be adressed. Come on, we talk about providing jobs for locals and at the same time taking away bread that could be shared to us all? The street sweeper was a good investment Cue , so good that it peeked the interest of a certain minister. Now you telling me we had a machine already on the island and they bypassed such operations for 8 years to fulfill their continued money making tactics Bull!

    Its bout time we stand up to this government and take a stand on what is right and if we don't, we're no better off than our worst enemies.

    Continual CRONYISM AT ITS BEST and it must CHANGE!
    • Linky (11/02/2013, 13:09) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
      stop talking foolishness please. pwd have backhoes and trucks too are they undermining other truckers? swd have sewage trucks as well. wsd have garbage trucks. who cares who buy it. his truck always down so we should walk in dust just for that? you all too damn badminded man. who tell he buy a sweeper without doing his maths. why would you buy such a machine without first knowing how the F u going pay the loan for it. if government say we only need you 3 months out the year you going sit on your ass the other 9mths balling? who does send them? is jus like all these man now got big truck. who the f going to hire all those trucks when the real truck companies like Ashley, tabin, crabbe and them already have equipment on island. cue made a bad investment. the garbage truck guys dont buy trucks until they secure a full year contract. he should have done the same.
    • Solid Waste (11/02/2013, 13:11) Like (0) Dislike (4) Reply
      Get your facts straight.......SOLID WASTE DEPARTMENT made the purchase on their own. Why by from the middle man when you can go straight to the source. You people are so backwards aint no joke..........You would rather spend 1 million dollars for the same equipment than $500,000 people of full of hate towards your own!
      • ABC (11/02/2013, 22:39) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
        Please!! What are the facts, that sweeper was not purchased from the suppliers in China, it was bought through a company which was set up in the USA by our Minister and sold to Solid Waste for three times it true value. Of course Solid Waste purchased the equipment on their own but from whom. I see no hate in this, what I see is poor ethics on the path of our elected representatives. And for your information, the Government in Dominica "purchased" a similar piece of equipment from China. You may wish to go and see where it is parked up in short order.
  • in the news (11/02/2013, 12:14) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    NDP showing their true colours.

  • Monday (11/02/2013, 13:09) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Solid waste always had a street sweeper, I recall before 2006 my mother retired , I took her to work every morning @ 5:30 and I always met solid waste sweeper on the road. It was a small brown one. So I do not believe the Cue was the first person to have one on the Island.
  • Bvi man (11/02/2013, 14:13) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is a warning to all those that are considering starting a business. DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!! Why would you go through the bank to purchase equipment that would have Government as its ONLY client and not even have a long-term contractual agreement put in place? That makes absolutely NO SENSE! There is a reason why only him brought one here, why would any thinking business person do that? The only reason that would be brought in is if there was a need for private clients as well. Otherwise, it makes no sense. We are seeing this over and over with other construction equipment. They go bank, take a loan, buy the equipment then cry about how they are not getting any Government work. I try but I fail to understand that concept. He has also admitted that his machine is down and usually has down time. How then is he saying Government is wrong to get their own machine when the one he has isn't completely reliable? At the end of the day, those machines are not designed for these areas in my opinion and will always be breaking down. The Govt. own look even cheaper and given Govt Depts track records, I give it until the end of year before we see it parked up somewhere with grass and weeds growing through it. This man also bought a bush cutting machine, another blunder when it comes to being in business. Unless you had a contract, you should've never brought such a thing into the Territory.
  • bob cat (11/02/2013, 15:16) Like (23) Dislike (5) Reply
    What they did to this young local businessman is criminal...NDP must go before they destroy locals in their homeland. You see half of them is not indigenous to they do not give a dame!!!
  • history of NDP (11/02/2013, 16:08) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    feeling victimised and undermined...ha ha the story of the NDP!!!!
    • ugly (12/02/2013, 08:54) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      Go do better for your self "history of NDP' and stop jumping on every bandwagon to puff yourself up.

  • hoa (12/02/2013, 12:36) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Sonething smells with this
  • ------------------------ (12/02/2013, 21:30) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
  • 22 year old (13/02/2013, 08:01) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I was just starting a business in Virgin Gorda but after reading this I am discouraged
  • cloud of dust (14/02/2013, 10:45) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Driving home early this morning along the highway, was blinded by full beam headlights, followed by a large cloud of dust. The culprit, the new road sweeper sweeping the wrong way down the carriageway, creating more dust than removing.
    I assume that there is a legal exemption to drive the wrong way along this fast piece of road, or the operator will need to increase his / her life insurance, as this is a very high risk occupation. Calling Officer Callwood.
  • wise up (14/02/2013, 23:29) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Q, in this place you must have blond hair & blue eyes....your people running the NDP election leave them at the polls...

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