Port Antonio mayor faces no-confidence motion today
Gareth Davis Sr, Gleaner Writer
Port Antonio, Portland:
The fate of embattled Port Antonio Mayor Benny White will be known today during the monthly sitting of the Portland Parish Council, where a no-confidence motion is expected to be passed or averted.
Minority leader Derron Wood, who claimed the mayor has been a miserable failure, served notice of the motion during last month's sitting, alleging that a majority of the councillors have lost confidence in White's leadership style.
Yesterday, all five sitting People's National Party (PNP) councillors were invited to an emergency meeting in Kingston to receive further instructions as it relates to the no-confidence motion, which was served by a Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) councillor.
It is the second such meeting involving the PNP councillors, following a similar one on January 20.
According to a senior party source, who asked not to be named, the councillors were instructed at the first meeting not to support any such motion put forward by a JLP councillor, especially one tabled against their own colleague, White.
The source admitted that careful consideration was given to some of the concerns raised by the PNP councillors, who also expressed their discontent with White's leadership style, especially with his alleged one-man-band approach.
At that meeting, the instructions from members of the PNP's executive for them to desist from siding or supporting the no-confidence motion was reiterated.
The tabling of a no-confidence motion against a chairman of the Portland Parish Council is not new to White, who was the architect of a similar move in 2004, when he sided with four PNP councillors and ousted then Mayor Alston Hunter. White was then a representative of the JLP.
Since then, White has gone on to become mayor twice, first in 2006, after crossing the floor to join the PNP. He is now in his second term, which started in 2012.
Hunter, the former mayor who spoke to The Gleaner yesterday, still considers White's move in 2004 as a stab in the back.
"It has taken nine years for retribution to take place," commented Hunter.
He added: "The same knife that stick sheep, also stick goat. While I am not celebrating his demise, as we have an excellent relationship, but the truth of the matter is that White has no sense of loyalty. Even today, I am still baffled as to how or why he sided with four rival councillors to unseat a colleague."