Sat | Aug 19, 2017

MoBay mayor confident of local gov't election win - but minority leader says his side more competent

Published:Tuesday | November 8, 2016 | 11:00 AMChristopher Thomas
The St James Municipal Corporation building.

Chairman of the St James Municipal Corporation and mayor of Montego Bay Glendon Harris says he is confident that the People's National Party will win the majority of seats in the local government elections in the parish come Election Day, November 28.

"The reality is, when you add up the previous four administrations, what they have accomplished does not add up to what we have accomplished in just this one term. We have moved the level of consciousness of the citizens with regard to the operations of the parish council and of councils in general," Harris declared.

"I get the comments very often that now the citizens realise that the council is working, and can work, and that it is a vital part of governance," Harris added. "A poll that was done by an independent pollster gave me and this administration a 63 per cent rating."

 

PARISH-WIDE PROJECTS

 

Harris also pointed to several parish-wide projects the corporation has spearheaded as evidence that his administration will have enough support from residents to win the upcoming election.

"We have done the most patching and road repairs across the parish - more than ever before. We implemented the Community Pride partnership programme, where we have a lawnmower and weed-whacker, and we go out and cut community spaces, playing fields across the parish, and communal areas in communities," said Harris. "We have rehabilitated the Dome (in Montego Bay) and given it a facelift, and we have the fencing and landscaping of the park above the Dome to do, which we will accomplish in short order."

Harris continued: "If you look at the Clock (on Barnett Street), we have upgraded the sidewalk, put in the median, and done some repairs to the clock tower; we signed the contract for the supply of the clock last week, and it is projected that it can be installed in early January 2017. Also, the standard of our civic functions has taken a new dimension, as they are well put together, well executed and entertaining."

However, minority leader in the St James Municipal Corporation, the Jamaica Labour Party's Charles Sinclair, said his side will claim the election, as the ruling administration has had issues with accountability.

"In the past, when we had control of the council, we were transparent in respect to our dealings. In respect to service delivery to the people, based on the myriads of complaints and shortcomings I have seen for myself and those coming from many persons throughout many communities, we performed better than the present administration performed in the past four years, and we have the ability, competence and personnel to do better service delivery than the present administration," said Sinclair.

Some specific projects of the current administration were also cited by Sinclair as having been part of his past administration's plans from his time as mayor of Montego Bay.

"The work done out at 'Clock' - it is something that was on the table during my administration; in fact, what has been done out there is not what should properly have been done," said Sinclair. "It has a lot of shortcomings because they did not carry through the plan which exists for the widening of that particular area, to adequately put the median that has been placed there, so it has been done in a 'hitched up' way."

Sinclair continued: "Roads have been a major priority of my administration. In fact, I implemented a system whereby, instead of councillors placing money into any area that they would want to do, they had to put at least two-thirds of the sums which were allocated to their divisions to road works. For that reason, because of the emphasis that was placed on it, the roller that is presently being used was purchased in my time, with a lot of criticisms from the other side and from other people; now it has proven itself in that it works effectively, and it is the same system they have carried through."