Don't blame me for Crooks' tears - former Mayor Haughton
Adrian Frater, News Editor
Western Bureau: COUNCILLOR SHERNET Haughton, who recently demitted office as the mayor of Lucea, says she is not to be blamed for the neglect of the Riverside division, which caused Councillor Lester Crooks to break down in tears at Thursday's monthly meeting of the Hanover Parish Council.
Crooks, who was returning to the council after being away on sick leave for three months, wept as he bemoaned the gross neglect of his division by the parish council during his absence. He went on to issue a call for priority treatment from the newly installed mayor, councillor Wynter McIntosh.
During Crooks' impassioned plea to the new mayor, councillor Anthony Walker, of the Cauldwell division, said councillor Haughton, who was the serving mayor during Crooks' period of illness, should take responsibility for the neglect Crooks said occurred in his absence.
However, in rebuffing councillor Walker's suggestion, Haughton stated that during the early stages of Crooks' illness, he use to send his programmes to the council and they were addressed. However, she said Crooks subsequently stopped sending his programmes to the council.
Haughton further noted that had Councillor Crooks continued to send her his programme, she would have been only too happy to have them addressed.
"Had Councillor Crooks continued to give me his programmes, I would have done what needed to be done because it would be my duty... so there would be no reason for his tears," continued Haughton.
"I have always had a very good working relationship with Councillor Crooks, so there would be no reason for me to neglect his division in his absence."
Under pressure from fellow councillors about her leadership of the council, Haughton, who represents the Green Island division, resigned as mayor of Lucea in August.
"I am now putting all my efforts into ensuring the people in the Green Island division get proper representation," said Haughton. "I have put the issues of the past behind me and my primary focus is on serving the people."