Fri | Jul 20, 2018

Youth mayors take up office

Published:Wednesday | December 7, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Desmond McKenzie, minister of local government and community development, convereses with Maurice Charoo, Youth Mayor of St Ann’s Bay, at the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development’s Youth Mayors function, held at the Spanish Court Hotel on Monday.

Thirteen youth islandwide officially took up the reins as youth mayors and each received $500,000 for funding their projects.

The function held at the Spanish Court Hotel in St Andrew on Monday also marked the appointment of the first ever Youth Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Monique Brown.

November was celebrated as Local Government and Community Development month. The concept of youth mayorship began in 1995 and aimed at integrating and sensitising the youth of Jamaica about the operations of local government via the local authorities.

The youth mayors submitted written and oral entries regarding their ambitions for their municipalities and were subsequently selected by their respective municipal councils.

Minister of local government Desmond McKenzie charged the youth mayors to make valuable contributions to local government and to gradually revamp the political process to better suit the upcoming generation.

Each mayor made three-minute presentations to give an overview as to which community development project they are to undertake as junior chief of their respective municipalities.

Outstanding presenter, 12-year-old Maurice Charoo, Youth Mayor of St Ann's Bay, spoke of his intentions to install a 200-gallon water tank at the St Ann's Bay Hospital to aid patients in times of water shortage.




Charoo disclosed to rousing applause that his mother was admitted at the facility last year with back pains and had tablets to ingest, but had no water at the time, hence his selection of the project.

Charoo, whose ambition is to become prime minister, told The Gleaner, "I would also like to deal with the drains and other things that are not in place in St Ann's Bay."

He further added in reference to his mother: "I love her, and I am proud of myself."

No youth mayor was appointed for Spanish Town.

Brown received $250,000 towards a community development project and $150,000 personal prize money for her essay entry.

She wrote under the title: What I Would Do to Transform Local Government If I were to Be Appointed Local Government Minister. Her tenure will span December to January 2017.