VOX POP

Published: Wednesday | January 1, 2014 Comments 0
Levan Freeman - Mayor of Port Maria
Levan Freeman - Mayor of Port Maria
Oral Heaven - president, St Ann Chamber of Commerce
Oral Heaven - president, St Ann Chamber of Commerce
The Reverend Jonathan Hemmings- chairman, Ocho Rios Ministers Fraternal
The Reverend Jonathan Hemmings- chairman, Ocho Rios Ministers Fraternal
Travis Graham - Social Development Commission parish manager for St Mary
Travis Graham - Social Development Commission parish manager for St Mary

2014 projections of parish leaders

ST ANN

Oral Heaven - president, St Ann Chamber of Commerce

The outlook for 2014, people see it as an even more challenging year but we just have to be positive. Businesses will have to tighten their belts. People have made sacrifices in 2013, they're looking at making other sacrifices in 2014, but the possibilities are there for them to see the benefits from the cuts, the tightening that took place in 2013, and to probably reap the benefits from the ending quarter of 2014.

The new year will be a year of great pain where consistency, discipline, commitment, focus are all necessary for us to be triumphant, and as business people, if we are really focused and disciplined, then we should be able to achieve.

The Reverend Jonathan Hemmings- chairman, Ocho Rios Ministers Fraternal

My hope for us in the new year is that we will make some meaningful strides towards real development. One of the things that we must do as a people is that we have to free ourselves of other persons' definition of us. I think it is one of the remaining shackles of colonialism that we're really operating by other people's definition of us.

When we're defined by others, they define us so that they can control us and exploit us. We have to define ourselves and set our own standards and expectations of ourselves, and live and work towards that. For too long, we have been working towards becoming what other people think that we should be.

ST MARY

Levan Freeman - Mayor of Port Maria

We look forward to implementing a heritage trail project; a new market for Port Maria; upgrading the council's roads; and a new transportation centre for Highgate is in the pipeline.

We'll also be holding more community meetings to enable us to hear the needs of the citizenry and assist them wherever possible, based on the resources we have available.

In 2014, we hope to increase our property tax collection so the council can provide the facilities and services that are under our mandate, such as the maintenance of street lights and the upgrading of roads.

We also look forward to collaborating with central government to do something substantial about the drainage systems in Port Maria and Annotto Bay to pre-empt the hurricane season.

Travis Graham - Social Development Commission parish manager for St Mary

In 2014, we look forward to working with community groups and helping them to submit proposals for funding. We're also aiming to strengthen our partnerships with the St Mary Parish Council, councillors and MPs.

We'll be placing special emphasis on creating an inter-agency network for the parish, working alongside organisations such as the Rural Agricultural Development Authority; the police; the National Council for Senior Citizens; and the National Centre for Youth Development, as we should all be working together.

In areas such as Wag Water and Highgate, we'll be doing some capacity training, which includes proposal writing and meeting with management to discuss executive roles and functions.

We'll also be hosting social service fairs, business fairs and business development training in Highgate and Oracabessa, where we'll also be starting a community development committee.




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