Feuding Trelawny custos, mayor call truce
Months of feuding between Trelawny Custos Paul Muschett and Falmouth Mayor Collen Gager was halted yesterday as acting on the instructions of Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie got both men to bury the hatchet.
Prior to yesterday’s monthly meeting of the Trelawny Municipal Corporation (TMC), which was attended by McKenzie, he had private dialogue with the mayor and the custos.
In the subsequent TMC meeting, McKenzie expressed delight that the men had agreed to end their ugly public fuss.
“It is very unfortunate that these moments of embarrassment were played out between April and August of this year. Before today’s meeting, I spoke with both men, who agreed to a new start,” explained McKenzie. “Both men have agreed to leave the past behind them and work together in the interest of the parish. There is room for both men, who have important roles to play in the parish, to exist. There is no cross borders between them.”
Muschett and Gager shook hands in the council chamber as a sign of the truce. The gesture was met with resounding applause as both men smiled with each other.
In expressing relief that better days were on the horizon, Muschett promised that going forward, he would endeavour to work with the mayor and that the negativity would become a thing of the past.
Gager was quite brief in his response, declaring that he was committed to burying the proverbial hatchet and would seek to have an amicable relationship with the custos.
“I will work together with the custos towards the best interest of the parish,” said Gager as McKenzie stood between them, nodding in approval.
After months of fussing behind the scenes, the bad blood between the custos and the mayor surfaced in public in June when before a group of schoolchildren and their teachers, the mayor flatly refused to shake the outstretched hands of the custos or even acknowledge him.
The custos later told The Gleaner that it was the fourth time that the mayor had refused to acknowledge him at a public event and accused him of acting childishly.
Last month, the mayor complained of being disrespected when the Independence Day Civic Ceremony in Falmouth got under way on the custos’ instructions without Gager being able to participate in the inspection of the guard of honour, even though he was present at the event.