Wed | Nov 29, 2023

The mayor's scandalous behaviour

Published:Monday | March 29, 2010 | 12:00 AM


Kingston's Mayor Desmond McKenzie apparently has a penchant to run off his mouth without giving any consideration to the possible repercussions of his utterances.

Take, as an example, his recent statements about the state of certain buildings in the Corporate Area, as it relates to their structural integrity and ability to stand up to a earthquake of the magnitude that hit Haiti recently. One can understand the mayor's concern, but to be going around with the media in tow and calling press conferences where certain buildings and their developers are maligned is nothing short of scandalous.

And this is happening against the background of no specific engineering test being carried out on any of these buildings that would bring into question their lack of ability to stand up to earthquakes of a certain strength or magnitude.

The recent statements that the National Stadium is a death trap was also a silly thing to say. Does anyone believe that he really thinks the stadium is a death trap? Why then would he allow it to be used last week to host Champs when 30,000 Jamaicans would be attending the games inside the stadium?

Eureka moments?

The mayor is reported to have said recently that over 60 per cent of recent building construction in the Corporate Area was done without his council's approval. How many of these illegal constructions took place under his watch, and where was his vaunted and in-your-face style of doing things, à la personally tearing down people's business signs, etc., when all of this illegal construction was going on?

I suspect that this is just another headline-grabbing manoeuvre that has come to characterise his tenure as mayor. The city does not need a headline-grabbing, flamboyant mayor. It needs real leadership which is transformative and innovative in restoring order and cleanliness to its environment, while it strengthens its adminis-trative functions to minimise the obvious consequences of poorly constructed buildings with or without approvals.

I am, etc.,



Kingston 6