Patmore satisfied, but walking away
Despite grading himself a nine out of 10 for his four-year stint as the councillor for the Lorimers division in the Trelawny Parish Council, businessman Paul Patmore, who ran and won as an independent candidate, will not be seeking re-election in the upcoming local government elections.
Patmore says his decision not to seek re-election was as a result of some of the choices he made in the 2012 election campaign, which he felt have come back to haunt him.
"My tenure has been a success, and it (politics) is something I may do again, but I would have to change my approach," said Patmore. "I think I blundered in the way I campaigned. I campaigned using the same method of the PNP (People's National Party) and the JLP (Jamaica Labour Party) going around, handing out scarce benefits and spoils to seek votes, and that is the only regret that I have."
"So now, people come to me for things all the time and I try to explain to them that it cannot work that way," continued Patmore. " ... Before I was elected and somebody come and ask me for assistance with, for example, school fees, I always tried to assist in some small way."
Despite being an independent councillor, Patmore said he was treated fairly, as the council's resources was equitably distributed among all councillors.
"I wouldn't say it was challenging because, contrary to what you hear, every single month we received our allocations for work to be done in our divisions," said Patmore. "It is only two times we have received less than $200,000 per month, in 48 months. So we were able to address all concerns - drains, road patching and such."
While he is proud of some projects, he is somewhat saddened that some communities were not able to access services such as street lights and garbage collection because residents did not own the lands and were not paying property taxes.
"One of my signature projects is the Paul Patmore Water Project in the Lowe River area, which provides close to 100 households with water," said Patmore. "I know where all the streetlights are and I know when they are not working."
For those persons who will be seeking to enter the fray as independent candidates in the impending elections, Patmore had this to say: "They have to know what they are about .... and not a case that they wanted to run for one of the parties and there is no space. ... As long as they want to make a difference ... because all of us do go in with good intentions."