Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer
If the pronouncements of the member of parliament for West Kingston, Desmond McKenzie, are accurate he shares the pain, frustration and anguish of his constituents.
But by all accounts, these constituents are getting increasingly apathetic to the political process that they have espoused in the past.
However, McKenzie, a former councillor of the Tivoli Gardens Division and a homeboy of the community, is now being criticised for his treatment of his constituents.
The residents say McKenzie is not with them to assist in their plight as frequently as the man who mentored him, former prime minister Edward Seaga.
They claim McKenzie has not been seen frequently since the seven fires that have affected them in recent time, although he has given instructions that the names of victims be taken by his constituency office.
Tandrika, a 21-year-old woman who was still a teenager when Seaga left the constituency, said the former MP and JLP leader is unsurpassable in regards to his love for the people and accomplishment over the 34 years he served.
"Mr Seaga will never be forgotten, dead or alive, he walked in gunshots with the people," Tandrika declared.
She said she remembers well the many stories that have been told about Seaga's love for the people of west Kingston, even when the world appeared to turn its back on them.
"It was he who built this area into what it is today, how can we forget or put anyone else before him."
Tandrika is, however, of the view that McKenzie, who won the seat less than a year ago and has spent the bulk of his allocation from the Constituency Development Fund, on education is found wanting.
She recounted how the people of Tivoli Gardens vociferously embraced the sentiments of a visiting evangelist, who characterised politicians as opportunists who exploit the poor as an indication that people were fed up with the political process.
Crystal, 25, told The Sunday Gleaner that she will never forget how throughout the horror of the May 10, 2010 incursion in Tivoli Gardens, she searched in futility for her then member of parliament and prime minister, Bruce Golding.
"The first top person from the JLP who I personally saw was Andrew Holness," she declared.
Kirk says he believes only Seaga could bring back hope to Tivoli Gardens. "People not very interested in politics because we have nothing to show for it," he murmured.
He suggested that many residents are still of the view that they are being victimised by the State, but this attitude is not confined to the People's National Party as Tivoli Gardens was brought to its knees during a JLP administration which was led by Golding.
Efforts to contact McKenzie late last week were unsuccessful as he was said to be off the island.