Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Outgoing MoBay mayor staying in politics

Published:Friday | December 2, 2016 | 12:00 AMChristopher Thomas
Glendon Harris

Western Bureau:

Despite suffering defeat in Monday's local government elections, businessman Glendon Harris, the outgoing mayor of Montego Bay, has no plans to walk away from representational politics and intends to remain the People's National Party's (PNP) caretaker for the Maroon Town division in St James.

"I will continue to serve my people ... . This experience just gives me an opportunity to go and uplift my businesses and to serve the people," said Harris, who represented the Maroon Town division for 26 consecutive years before his recent defeat.

At the end of the polls, the sometimes controversial Harris lost his bid for re-election when he was beaten by his Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) challenger Everes Coke.

Coke polled 1,071 votes to Harris' 990 votes.

COMMITMENT TO THE PEOPLE

"I am going to continue as the caretaker for the division [of Maroon Town]," said Harris, who is also the outgoing chairman of the St James Municipal Corporation.

"My commitment to my people and community will not just waver like that. You get a setback to get a set-up, and you convert a mess into a message. I am sure the message will come in short order."

Harris, who served as president of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) prior to becoming the 15th mayor of Montego Bay, plans to continue working closely with the farmers in his division going forward.

"I will continue to work with the farmers, which is another voluntary effort," said Harris, who declined to say whether he plans to re-seek the presidency of the JAS.

"I cannot speak to the JAS presidency for right now," said Harris, who is currently vice-president of the JAS.

"I am also a farmer and a tour operator, and I need to get back into all those things and get them back to the level they ought to be because of my negligence to them in my placing emphasis on politics."

Harris, who many see as the man the PNP will use to replace Derrick Kellier - the party's longstanding member of parliament (MP) in Southern St James - when he calls time on his career in representational politics, was fairly confident of victory going into the local government elections.

"We have done the most patching and road repairs across the parish ... more than ever before," Harris said in an interview on the eve of the elections. "We implemented the Community Pride partnership programme. We rehabilitated the Dome [in Montego Bay] and gave it a facelift ... look at the clock (on Barnett Street). We have upgraded the sidewalk, put in the median, and done some repairs to the clock tower."

christopher.thomas@gleanerjm.com