Wed | Dec 7, 2016

Letter of the Day: Let's dump Arscott

Published:Wednesday | April 1, 2015 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Local government elections are due today, March 31, but just like other important issues yet to be addressed by the minister of local government and community development, the day will pass without a whimper from him.

The minister should just call it a day for his term in office and just resign. Under the non-guidance of this silent minister, the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development has reached a stage where one now has reason to question the relevance of the minister.

His first bungling was in the Portmore municipal elections where voters of two parish council divisions ended up with their representatives sitting not in the Portmore Municipal Council, but in the Spanish Town Council. The then mayor described the situation as untidy, and today, three years after the election, it still is.

The Portmore electorate expected a by-election to replace the late mayor, George Lee, but this has not happened. The major reason given was that there was no money to fund the election, so what the minister did was to install an acting mayor using a validation bill. Under the Validation Act, the councillors were now able to sit with the Portmore Municipal Council, but this only after questioning my validity as chairman of the Greater Portmore Joint Council. Clearly, his actions do not facilitate community development.

 

one bungling to the next

 

As the minister stumbles from one bungling to the next, to date he has been silent on concerns raised about the procedure used to collect signatures to address the Portmore Boundary issue. There have been public discussions about amending the Municipal Act to include an Expansion Clause to facilitate the boundary expansion.

While the emperor of local government fiddled, Riverton burned. Schools in Kingston, St Andrew and Portmore were closed because of the days-long fire at the dump. The effects of the smoke did not bother the minister, however. His major concern was the decision taken by the board of the NSWMA not to renew the contract of the executive director.

This minister of local government must now do the most honourable thing and silently resign and give the prime minister the opportunity to name another member of parliament.

HOWARD HAMILTON (JP)

Portmore Pines, St Catherine