Mon | Feb 17, 2020

It's now Portmore City Municipality

Published:Saturday | November 3, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Opposition Senator Wentworth Skeffery

Opposition senators have suggested that the Government focus attention on the more "urgent" issues facing the municipal authority for Portmore, St Catherine, instead of a name-change.

The suggestion was made in the Senate yesterday before they joined with government senators and voted to approve the name-change from the Municipality of Portmore to the Portmore City Municipality.

According to Senator Kamina Johnson-Smith leader of government business in the Senate, the request for the name-change was made by councillors in the People's National Party-controlled Portmore Municipal Authority.


No "clearly defined" boundary


In February, local government minister Desmond McKenzie signed the ministerial order giving effect to the change of name. It was approved by the House of Representatives on June 5.

However, noting that the Portmore municipality was established in 2003, Opposition Senator Wentworth Skeffery pointed out that there was still no "clearly defined" boundary for the local authority.

"So we are seeking to have a change of name, but we are still not fully clear on the boundary that defines the municipality, and that requires urgent attention," said Skeffery.

According to him, this has implications for electoral and polling divisions in specific constituencies in Portmore "and ultimately, the voters' list that will be used to determine the election".

"We saw an issue in the last election in terms of one proposed definition of the boundary for the municipality, and we had to revert to the 2003 definition, and the issue remains an outstanding one today," said Skeffery, who is also a member of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica.

Pointing to the 15 years the Portmore municipality has been in existence, the lawmaker said that "the verdict is still out as to the success" of the authority.