Two People's National Party (PNP) councillors have come out swinging against their fellow councillor, the Jamaica Labour Party's (JLP) Duane Smith, for criticising and boycotting a just-concluded Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) retreat held on the north coast.
Khari Douglas and Venesha Phillips, councillors for the Trafalgar and Papine divisions respectively, told The Sunday Gleaner that the retreat was value for money, even though they could not say how much it cost taxpayers. Douglas argued that the three-day retreat for the party of roughly 70 councillors and other KSAC employees, staged at the Riu Hotel in Ocho Rios, St Ann, was needed for the training and orientation of new councillors.
According to Douglas, the retreat facilitated the familiarisation and cohesiveness of the councillors with the council's administrative, professional and technical staff as well as the KSAC's management team.
"When you're in Kingston, it is much easier to be distracted," said Douglas, who pointed out that revenue enhancement was a key feature of the retreat.
"When I first heard the brouhaha, I wondered if the gentleman was living in oblivion. His argument is porous and pointless," said Phillips.
"It is indeed value for money. I believe this experience is invaluable and the municipality will be better for it," she added.