'I think my daughter is having sex'
The recently announced multi-billion-dollar Montego Bay Action Plan has been warmly embraced by the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI), which is not only looking forward to the implementation of the project, but plans to play an active role in its execution.
"We are ready to move full speed ahead with the St James Parish Council to begin the process of public-private sector partnership," said Gloria Henry, the president of the MBCCI. "It is an excellent move on the part of the mayor to have executed this plan. There are several areas of this plan that we certainly can help to stimulate action.
"The environment part of it certainly fits into the projects that we are looking to initiate for downtown Montego Bay. Our 'My MoBay Campaign' is one of those projects that we are looking to use as a holistic approach aimed at expanding the ecosystem of physical assets and cleaning up the environment," added Henry.
Henry also stated that the chamber was anxious to learn more about the investment side of the project as they stood willing and ready to help mobilise investors while helping to bring resources into the project.
"That is an area that we want to learn more about, so we want to see the actual action plan," continued Henry. "I believe we can help to sustain that kind of development ... . We can bring in investors through our partnerships and help with the implementation of that aspect of the plan."
Henry is also advocating he revisiting of some of the various plans that were crafted over the years, noting that some of the elements of those plans could be included in the new action plan.
"I want to learn from the parish council how we can integrate some of those former plans, some of which were very good," said Henry. "... if there are any ways that some of those could dovetail into this plan, or, is it that this one supersedes all of those plans, which came before?"
While embracing the plan, Councillor Suzette Brown, whose Montego Bay South Division includes downtown Montego Bay is anxious to see its implementation, having seen other plans failing to get off the ground in the past.
"I am heartened by the presentation, however, having been a creature of local governance for the past 15 years, I have seen plans done but not implemented," said Brown. "I know it would be beneficial to the people of Montego Bay, so corporate Montego Bay really needs to come on board and put their money where their mouth is."
In noting that Montego Bay is the fastest-growing city in the Caribbean, Local Government Minister Noel Arscott, who was in Montego Bay for the launch, said the action plan would help to address the myriad urbanisation challenges facing the St James Parish Council and other stakeholders in the city.
"... these include crime and security, coastal zone resilience, the preservation of ecosystems, and urban planning and renewal," said Arscott. "The official presentation of this plan is a clear statement of the commitment of the drive towards the sustainable development of this city."