People's National Movement (PNM) Tobago Council leadership hopeful Dr Denise Tsoiafatt Angus believes a lack of engagement with the people has been the major shortcoming of the Kelvin Charles administration over the past three years.
Tsoiafatt Angus said so on Thursday during a news conference at the Magdalena Grand Beach & Golf Resort, Lowlands, where she also unveiled her manifesto for developing Tobago.
The manifesto is titled Enhancing The Value of Party Membership Valuing You. Her logo is the fingerprint.
"I think over the past three years, there has been a significant lack of communication," she told reporters.
"People feel that they have not been engaged and it goes beyond getting goodies. Sometimes, you think people just want to get goodies and they want this and that."
Tsoiafatt Angus, who quit her position as Tobago House of Assembly presiding officer in November to contest the leadership of the Tobago Council in the January 19 internal election, said people have been complaining about empty promises during her walkabouts.
She said she is not in the habit of making promises.
"But I am not here to promise them anything except to be fair, inclusive and to operate with integrity and you would be amazed at how people would say, 'You have my vote.'"
Tsoiafatt Angus, who unsuccessfully contested the 2016 internal election, added: "So, if I have to identify one thing (shortcoming of the Charles' administration), I think it is engagement, making sure people know you are accessible."
The leadership candidate said throughout her professional life she has always been accessible.
She said she will continue to be accessible to the people if she is elected leader of the Tobago Council.
"Throughout my life, I have always been accessible even when patients went to the hospital and had surgeries and could not reach their doctor, I was the doctor they would call in private practice and they were not even my patients. At the end of the day, I am always accessible and will continue to be."
Tsoiafatt Angus' manifesto outlined plans for the establishment of a party school to teach the history of the PNM, institutional strengthening of the various PNM units and the promotion of greater grassroots participation in the affairs of the Tobago Council.
She also envisages a more significant role for women and youth in the island's development.
Told that her manifesto was similar to that of one of her challengers, Tracy Davidson-Celestine, TT's Ambassador to Costa Rica, Tsoiafatt Angus made it clear there was no collaboration.
However, she said, Davidson-Celestine had contacted her some months ago.
"I was contacted initially by Ms Davidson while she was in Costa Rica as Her Excellency. She reached out and told me that she was coming home and that she wanted to meet with me.
"I agreed to that meeting on her arrival, but at the next step what I saw was the launch of a campaign. There was no follow-up."
Davidson-Celestine launched her campaign and manifesto on Wednesday at the Buccoo Integrated Facility.
Tsoiafatt Angus said if elected she is prepared to work with all of the unsuccessful candidates.
"I continue to maintain that I am for healing and I just don't talk the talk. I walk the talk."