No more excuses, you must perform - McKenzie
Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie has said he will not be entertaining any complaints from municipal corporations about the lack of funds or other resources to carry out their mandated responsibilities to those they serve.
Speaking on Monday at a sensitisation session in Montego Bay, St James, for the 228 councillors and the mayor of Portmore who were voted into office during the recent local government elections, McKenzie said it is the policy of the current Government to make every municipality self-sufficient and as such, he wants every corporation to find creative means to stand on their own feet going forward.
"One of the weaknesses of the local government is that we complain that the resources that we have is limited, it is not enough, but I am telling you, money is not the problem," declared McKenzie. "It is the manner in which funds are used.
"We are going to have to become better managers of our resources. You can use the limited resources that you have in a more meaningful and productive way," added McKenzie.
In speaking to the numerous prime commercial and residential properties owned by municipal corporations around the island, McKenzie argued that leasing, renting or the sale of such resources is one way to generate funds.
McKenzie further noted that his ministry is now moving to ensure that municipal corporations which are in a position to get rid of unused assets are granted the power to do so, thereby strengthening their financial capabilities.
"One of the regulations speaking to how you dispose of the municipal's assets, whether rented, lease, or sale, is that you must apply to the ministry to seek permission. But if we are talking about making you self-sufficient and giving that independent leg to stand on, then you should not seek anybody's permission to dispense on your own," McKenzie said.
"However, since it exists, then let us use it until we are able to change it. It is not every day you must write to the minister asking for favours, you have the capabilities," stated McKenzie.
McKenzie also warned councillors and mayors against taking a partisan approach to their jobs, saying "the time for partisan is over," and that now is the time to do what they were elected to do by the people.