Two weeks ago, The San Pedro Sun ran a story entitled, “100 Golf Carts” denied entry to island where the public was informed of various golf cart permits which were under speculation from the Ambergris Caye Traffic Control Committee.
One of the applicants who had been approved for the entry of 20 golf carts was S.P. Golf Cart Rentals Limited. The story continues by stating that these letters of approval were all signed by past Chairmen of the committee who claimed to have never signed any of them. Present Chairman Andre Perez stressed that not only were the Transport offices without the original copies of these approval but that their applications and pertinent files were never found. Said businesses were sent letters informing them that their approvals were considered voided and they had the option to re-apply.
However, one of the golf cart companies in question brought his golf carts to the island. In an interview with Billy Harmouche, owner of the golf cart company, he is in possession of the original copy of the letter in question. Further investigation revealed that indeed his application had gone through the proper channels to acquire the permit.
Chairman of the Committee and the members realized that the original letter submitted by Mr. Harmouche was not the letter which was in question. He had submitted a letter dated March 10th, 2006 for San Pedro Golf Cart Rental and the letter in question was dated April 11th, 2006 for S. P. Golf Cart Rentals Limited. Two different letters but one thing was common, both had been signed and since Mr. Harmouche was in possession of an original letter of approval his golf cart rental company could go through. Back at the transport department, members were trying to locate the file relating to San Pedro Golf Cart Rentals Limited, which was the name of the company on the letter submitted by Mr. Harmouche. But to date, neither the minutes, applications or letter of approval could be found.
Since the file was unaccounted for and Mr. Harmouche had an original letter the matter was voted upon by the Ambergris Caye Traffic Control Committee. The voting took place on November 21st, 2007 and out of the nine members, eight were present. Out of those eight members, four voted in favor to keep the golf carts on the island and four voted against.
Since no decision could be reached by committee members, the decision has now been placed squarely on the shoulders of Minister of Transport Jose Coye. He is set to make his decision as soon as individuals appealed to his ministry. Business owners have been notified in writing that they need to appeal to the Minister for a final decision as quoted in the Statutory Instrument on the Ambergris Caye Traffic Laws.