Fri | Dec 4, 2020

Inside the Municipal Corporation | Councilor urged to get house in order

Published:Sunday | October 15, 2017 | 12:00 AMGareth Davis Sr
Stephen Williams, councillor for the St Margaret’s Bay division.
Anthony Johnson inside his makeshift house underneath a bridge in Buff Bay, Portland.

Port Antonio, Portland:

Last Thursday's meeting of the Portland Municipal Corporation was not without controversy as councillors vigorously debated the circumstances that caused a man to set up a makeshift cardboard house under a bridge in Buff Bay.

In the heat of the debate, mayor of Port Antonio, Paul Thompson, rebuked Councillor Stephen Williams for unceremoniously dismissing claims by another colleague regarding the living conditions of the man who resides under the bridge.

Williams, who is the councillor for the St Margaret's Bay division, had queried whether a man named Anthony Johnson was actually living underneath a bridge in Buff Bay.

"I have since learned that this man is from my division," commented Williams.




He continued, "We must be able to render assistance to this man, who is at his worst stage in life. Let us see if we can relocate this gentleman to a safer place and provide him with a house."

In a quick response, Dionne Hunter, councillor for the Buff Bay division, pointed out that offers were made to provide a house to Johnson but he turned them down.

However, Williams hit back, dismissing comments made by Hunter.

But Thompson, who was seemingly angered by the statements made by Williams, made it clear that he unreservedly accepted Hunter's comments.

"I believe in what Councillor Hunter has said," Thompson stated.

He added, "If you feel that the councillor (Hunter) is lying, it is very disrespectful. The other thing that I will tell you, Councillor Williams, is that there are issues in your division that you are not paying attention to and, therefore, I urge you, get your house in order first before you start to deal with issues in other divisions."