Stephanie Elliott, Gleaner Writer
A flare-up, last Thursday, over the allocation of emergency repair funds, forced Milton Brown, chairman of the Clarendon Parish Council, to call for the immediate adjournment of the monthly sitting of the council.
The fracas started after nine People's National Party (PNP) councillors rejected the call of Chairman Brown to vote on the decision of Winston Kelly, superintendent of roads and work, to allocate Government funds to projects in areas he had prioritised, based on his assessment of the needs of such areas.
The councillors insisted that partisanship was at play as, of the allocations of funds to 13 PNP divisions, only three were granted funds. Sean Barnswell, councillor for the Hayes division, accused the chairman of not being fair in approving Superintendent Kelly's proposals.
He was supported vigorously by his colleagues, who behaved boisterously.
Chairman Brown's attempts to restore order in the council went unheeded. He then called for a vote on Superintendent Kelly's decision, to which Councillor Barnes responded, "No voting not taking place in here." Councillor Simpson, in defending his colleague, suggested to the council that funds should have been allocated to at least one major project in each division.
Maintaining that they were not asked to do so in a previous meeting when Chairman Brown had asked for the votes of councillors for the proposed plan for repairs, and not for those against, the PNP councillors insisted they would not vote on the matter.
Winston Maragh, Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) councillor for the Rocky Point division, told the meeting that Portland Cottage and Rocky Point were the most affected in his division and in the parish. He expressed disappointment at the PNP councillors. "It is tear gas money," he shouted, before the meeting came to an abrupt end.