No-confidence notice served on Port Antonio mayor
Gareth Davis, Port Antonio, Portland:
Notice of a no-confidence motion was served on embattled Port Antonio Mayor Benny White during the monthly sitting of the Portland Parish Council yesterday.
The move could result in White being booted from the post of council chair.
It was Minority Leader Derron Wood, of the Fairy Hill Division, who served notice amid emotional exchanges between Deputy Mayor Wayne McKenzie and former Mayor Floyd Patterson.
The motion comes on the heels of a recent call from high-profile Member of Parliament Daryl Vaz for White to resign.
Last Tuesday, during a tour of the neighbouring constituency of East Portland, Vaz called for the resignation of White, whom he claimed has failed to ensure that contractors assigned to the $1.8-billion water, drainage, and sewerage project in Port Antonio were held accountable and properly supervised.
White, who is currently off the island, first assumed the post of mayor in 2003, when he sided with four People's National Party (PNP) councillors and unseated then Mayor Alston Hunter. White would later cross the floor and join the PNP.
Wood is contending that White's style of leadership leaves a lot to be desired, as "he operates a one-man band, where all decisions are made by him, irrespective of the circumstances".
Wood added: "His management style is one that is selfish. The eight remaining councillors have been left out of critical decision-making. Since he took over as chairman three years ago, there has been no growth within the council, and we have viewed his performance as a failure."
According to Wood, a majority of the councillors are in agreement with him and his decision to serve the notice of no-confidence.
Should the no-confidence motion pass at next month's sitting, Deputy Mayor Wayne McKenzie would assume the post of council chairman.
The PNP currently has five sitting councillors to the Jamaica Labour Party's four.