Tue | Dec 11, 2018

Appoint town manager for Ocho Rios - Belnavis

Published:Thursday | December 24, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Michael Belnavis

With the 2015-2016 winter tourist season just a week old, Jamaica Labour Party caretaker councillor Michael Belnavis is suggesting a new approach to deal with the perennial problems affecting the resort town of Ocho Rios.

According to Belnavis, a town manager should be appointed for Ocho Rios to coordinate the activities of various agencies and stakeholders to ensure the town gets the desired attention.

"There is the Parish Council, there is the Chamber of Commerce, there is TPDCo (Tourism Product Development Company), the Tourism Enhancement Fund, and others, but every year, it's the same thing. Everybody keeps talking, saying the town needs cleaning, the town needs this and that, but it's always more talk than action. Nobody wants to take the lead," Belnavis said in a release on Tuesday.

"I am suggesting that a town manager be appointed, whose main responsibility would be to ensure that Ocho Rios gets attention and things get done, and done in a timely manner.

"It should be a non-political appointment because he would be working in the interest of all of us. I know the mayor is there, but the mayor's responsibility includes a whole lot more than seeing to Ocho Rios."

Belnavis, who operates a business in Ocho Rios, said while the idea is not new, the time has come to make such an appointment.

"As the town manager, the buck would stop with him. His job would be to ensure that the agencies, the organisations, the individuals - whoever or whatever - are held accountable, to ensure that Ocho Rios remains clean and orderly.

Belnavis is suggesting that the agencies mentioned, along with the Ministry of Tourism, fund the appointment of such a person.