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Mayor toasts successes as MoBay celebrates 40 years as city

Published:Wednesday | October 14, 2020 | 12:15 AMAdrian Frater/News Editor

Western Bureau:

Despite the many and varied challenges, including a worrisome crime problem, Mayor Leeroy Williams says Montego Bay, which is celebrating its 40th year of city status, has much to be proud of with incredible strides made in several areas, including the tourism and the BPO sectors.

“I do understand that there will be mixed views about the positive achievements of our city over these four decades. However, Montego Bay as a city has managed to carve out significant accomplishments which we should all be proud of,” said Williams.

He pointed out that since being granted city status on October 9, 1980, Montego Bay has made significant contributions to the parish’s and nation’s development.

“Montego Bay’s contribution to the growth and development of the tourism industry – and by extension Jamaica – is worthy of the highest praise. It is now the destination of choice in the international tourism marketplace,” he said, citing infrastructural upgrades such as the expansion of the Sangster International Airport, the development of Montego Freeport, the construction and expansion of several hotels, the ever-improving road network, and major housing developments.

Williams also pointed to the growth in the global services sector (formerly BPO) and other business areas as “a shortlist of the proud achievements of our city in the past 40 years”.

The mayor, however, acknowledged that there was still work to be done to address some social issues, but he expressed confidence that they can be addressed with the right type of intervention.

“Crime and violence continue to be a national problem and while members of our security forces continue to work hard and have been fairly successful in taking on the monster, there is much work to be done,” said Williams, who noted that Montego Bay is currently enjoying a 20-year low in major crimes.

Williams called on citizens of Montego Bay to observe COVID-19 health and safety protocols so the pandemic can be brought under control to allow the city to rebound quickly.

“COVID-19 has changed the local, national, and international landscape for good. However, we are resilient people and will overcome this pandemic,” he said.

“I want to encourage everyone to join the efforts to ensure that what has been gained through hard work is preserved and that Montego Bay continues its progress to the next level of the prosperity chain and become the place of choice to live, work, do business and raise families,” added Williams.