Thu | Sep 20, 2018

LETTER OF THE DAY - KSAC must act on roaming mentally ill

Published:Tuesday | August 5, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:I would hope that, from the safety and comfort of her recently refurbished parlour, the mayor of Kingston, Angela Brown- Burke, would have taken note of the mayhem that was let loose in Half-Way Tree on Sunday.

Three weeks ago, I wrote to this paper drawing attention to the danger posed to the public by the scores of mentally ill men who roam freely in Half-Way Tree and who live and relieve themselves on the sidewalks in the area. I rhetorically asked if the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) would only rouse from its torpor when one of these mentally ill men attacked and injured a member of the public.

I must confess that I never envisaged, in my contemplation, that one of these mentally ill men would have relieved a policeman of his gun and embarked on a shooting spree, injuring two members of the public, as happened on Sunday. What if this had happened on a busier day of the week? How many bodies would we be counting today? How many families would be waking up this morning, mourning the death of loved ones because of the negligence, callousness and incompetence of the KSAC?

This must be a wake-up call for the KSAC. The Corporation seems to be in a perpetual Rip Van Winkle slumber, stirring occasionally to swat away pesky little gnats like the illegal street vendors who have overtaken the sidewalks in Half-Way Tree, forcing pedestrians to walk in the road.

I hope Her Worship will seize this opportunity to show true leadership and stop uttering meaningless platitudes about stakeholders pooling resources 'for the betterment of the residents of Kingston and St Andrew', as reported recently in your paper. At its lowest, it is akin to pimping from the public and the business community. These stakeholders have already fulfilled their civic and legal responsibility through the payment of property taxes and the various fees and rates charged by the KSAC.

As a concerned, tax-paying Kingstonian, I exhort the KSAC to shake off the miasmic lethargy that has stultified it for so long. Demonstrate to us that the Corporation is not being run as a patty shop, intent on hustling money from night parking in New Kingston, which is apparently high on its agenda these days.


Kingston 10