Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Letter of the Day | After long wait, Realign Portmore boundaries

Published:Friday | December 9, 2016 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

This is an open letter to Minister of Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenzie.

Now that the local government elections are over, when will the unresolved issues surrounding the boundaries of the municipality of Portmore be brought to a satisfactory end? Sir, this matter has gone on for far too long and the only people suffering are the electors.

It is very difficult for a citizen of this country to be able to vote for a member of parliament, but yet cannot vote for a directly elected mayor. Or in the case of residents of Portmore Country Club II, Caribbean Estate, Clifton, Morris Meadows, Lakes Pen, Quarry Hill and Grange Lane, they can vote for a member of parliament, they can vote for a parish councillor who will not be able to serve them and then they cannot vote for the directly elected mayor. How did we reach to this untenable position with Vision 2030 a mere 14 years away?

In the lead-up to the local government elections, as the minister for community development, you were adamant to move a motion to have the councillors of Portmore separated from the St Catherine Parish Council, as this would have given your political party a better chance of victory in the more lucrative St Catherine Parish Council.

Did the Labour-leaning colleagues stop to think that had the motion of separation gone through, the electorate from 16 polling-divisions - from Portmore Pines and Greater Portmore North - would not have representation at the local level? Did you stop to realise that your party now has a JLP member of parliament who won on the same boundaries that you are having issues with?

The cold, hard fact is that the municipal boundaries of Portmore must be aligned with the boundaries of central government, and if your party accepts the victory in East Central St Catherine, you could accept the boundaries in which that victory was achieved.

Mr Minister, I hope you don't take this personally, as your predecessor is to be blamed equally, as I personally and publicly told him and the Electoral Commission of Jamaica that the process that was being pursued to expand the boundaries of Portmore was wrong, and two wrongs don't make it right.

HOWARD HAMILTON (JP)

Portmore Pines

Greater Portmore , St Catherine