Don't fiddle with Portmore boundaries
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The Municipal Act of Port-more was an act of Parliament specifically crafted to guide the affairs of the new municipality. The contents therein were deliberately designed to ensure the participation of citizens in politics and civic life. The creation of the municipality was hailed as a showpiece of governance at its best.
Sad to admit, however, is the position being taken by a senior member of parliament in Portmore who, for whatever reason, is willing to disregard the Municipal Act and do what he wants. The Portmore boundary issue is long outstanding and has been so ever since it was described as "untidy and acceptable" by our late mayor, George Lee. This willingness to ignore the voices of residents like myself who have been asking for the minister of local government to draft legislation that would facilitate the expansion of the municipality is a slap in the face of democracy.
The stance being taken by the member of parliament in interpreting Section 3 of the Municipal Act is shocking, to say the least - shocking but not surprising. He made a suggestion and we outlined conditions that we would need to be implemented before there was any form of agreement. He never got back to us. Next, we heard of the matter, it was in the form of a Validation Act giving the acting mayor supreme power over the municipality .
To date, the vast majority of the municipality's residents are not aware of what the Validation Act is all about. To me and others, the boundary issue is not about which community is added or subtracted. It's not about the impact that will occur, whether socially or economically. It is about representation.
I, therefore, advise the member to use his time and position in Parliament to raise the boundary issues as a matter of urgent public importance.
HOWARD D. HAMILTON