Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer
Mayor of Kingston Angela Brown Burke yesterday announced that after a few setbacks at the Redemption Arcade, it is now abuzz with activity.
However, noting that corruption and criminality have been major problems over the years, Brown Burke urged vendors to exercise caution when paying market fees.
"In these harsh economic times, we don't need our vendors to be paying twice or paying to the wrong persons. We need our vendors to be selling in a clean and safe environment and they should only be paying once," she said following yesterday's monthly meeting of the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation.
"I believe that over the years, as a council, we have accepted this standard for far too long and we have almost turned a blind eye to an alternative system in the markets and that must end. Persons are finding it so hard to make a living and we don't need anybody else to be collecting money except the local authorities," Brown Burke declared.
She also said a number of systems would be put in place to eliminate the practice in addition to enhancing the environment for vendors.
"We are appealing to persons who know anything to come in and provide information so that we can protect them, and pass on the information to the police. We also have a number of things that we will be putting in place which I can't talk about fully just yet, but we will be clamping down on these activities," she said.
"Whether it be asking vendors to wear an identification card to ensure that those in the market indeed have a right to sell, we are also moving to change the receipt system, how we record money collected, where receipts are printed, who has them, that kind of thing," she continued.
Brown Burke added: "We are currently doing a review of all our managers to see what they have been doing. A market manager cannot have the idea they are doing well when someone who is paying $2,400 actually owes $400,000, so we are working hard to eliminate all elements of corruption and doing our best to enhance our customer service."