Let's pay the heads of committees - Sinclair
Government Senator Charles Sinclair has proposed that the newly appointed heads of committees in the St James Municipal Corporation should be paid for their services in those offices, an idea which, if approved, could then be implemented in other municipal corporations across the island.
Sinclair, who is councillor for the Montego Bay North East division, made the proposal during a special sitting of the corporation on Monday. At the meeting, the chairmen and vice-chairmen of the 12 committees, which will serve the corporations new administration, were named.
"I believe that for those persons who are going to be in those positions, there should be some reward for the effort they are going to have to put in, and as they say, 'reward sweetens labour'," Sinclair said when quizzed by the media about the proposal.
"We are looking for a committee to look at it here locally in St James, to see if it can fit within the legal framework that exists, and we can then discuss it with other councils (corporations) and mayors and then take it to the Ministry of Local Government for them to also look at it and give their approval so it can be implemented," added Sinclair.
"The proposal is for the mayor, the deputy mayor, the chairman of finance, the director of finance, and the secretary manager to sit down as a five-member crew and to see whether the idea is something that is workable within the legal framework. They would have discussions with persons from the local movernment ministry, and if the idea is workable, they will then report to the finance committee that it is workable, and a resolution will be passed and sent to the minister for approval," continued Sinclair.
He noted that if approved, it is likely that the proposal would not come into effect until 2018 as the budget for the upcoming financial year has already been established.
"Obviously, it is not something that can be implemented in this year or in the upcoming financial year because the budgets would have already gone in.
It is something that would have to go in after discussions with the stakeholders," said Sinclair. "The process is going to take a little time, but it is better that we start now, and by 2018 is when it could first be implemented."
Under Section 33 of the Local Governance Act of 2016, which Sinclair used to highlight his proposal during the meeting, a councillor will be entitled to reimbursement of expenses on travelling and subsistence, which are incurred in the performance of any approved duty as a councillor. However, the corporation may pay a commuted periodic allowance in place of said reimbursement in accordance with the approved operational budget.