Interim Premier Tom Marshall did the best he could when he shuffled his cabinet Wednesday. Marshall was somewhat hamstrung by the fact he rightly didn’t want to make any decisions that might come back to make life difficult for the permanent leader who will be taking over in three or four months, depending on the timing of the party’s leadership convention.
If Marshall named any fresh faces to cabinet, they might be dumped by the new person in a few months and that would lead to unnecessary bad feelings just when the party was trying to come together.
As it was, Marshall doubled up on some departments for some ministers who he must have thought could handle the extra workload until the House of Assembly closes in late spring or early summer.
The most important appointment was the naming of Charlene Johnson as Finance minister.
She will replace Marshall in that portfolio and will have some long hours of studying to get ready for the presentation of the 2014 budget in a few months.
Johnson, though young, is a cabinet veteran who has headed up a number of departments.
She should be able to handle the vital work that needs to be done finalizing the budget that has been in the works for some time.
She has the advantage of having Marshall — who has been Finance minister on a number of occasions — to tutor her until she gets her feet on the ground and her head around the numbers.
One thing is for certain, Marshall has made it clear this won’t be an interlude of sitting around and twiddling thumbs while waiting for a new leader to put their stamp on government.
He has said the business of government will proceed as usual and the ministers in the trimmed down cabinet will have their work cut out keeping their departments productive until the house closes.