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Solution to Baron's row nets Silver Pen for letter writer

Published:Friday | January 13, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Novar McDonald shows of a framed copy of his letter to the editor inside The Gleaner's North Street, central Kingston, offices yesterday. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer
'It is my view that the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation would be still able to discharge its responsibility for observance of its building regulations without demolishing the building' - Novar McDonald in his September 17 Letter of the Day headlined 'Solutions to building row'.
William Grogan, Gleaner Writer

"A means of finding a solution to a problem which does not have to destroy wealth and upset lives."

This was the focus of the Letter of the Day which won Novar McDonald The Gleaner's Silver Pen award for September.

McDonald's letter, published on September 17, proposed a novel way of resolving the confrontation between the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) and the owners of Baron's Plaza on Constant Spring Road over the legality of structures erected on the latter's property.

Rather than demolish the structures, as had been threatened by then head of the KSAC Desmond McKenzie, he suggested that the owners of Baron's Plaza be forced "to submit the appropriate building plans and architectural drawings to the KSAC" and then bear the cost of any modifications required to bring them into line with existing building practices, in addition to paying a fine.

McDonald, who holds advanced degrees in management and human resources, said his response to the Baron's Plaza construction issue was shaped by his academic and professional background.

"I work in the field of people," he said, stating that his proposed solution was motivated by the question: "How do you find solutions that don't damage the parties [involved]?"

McDonald attributed the Baron's Plaza controversy to the ineffectual implementation of the existing construction laws and suggested that his next letter to The Gleaner would focus on a reform of Jamaica's motor-vehicle registration system.

The Gleaner's Silver Pen award is given each month for the best letter published in the newspaper.