McKenzie condemns political clash at KSAMC meeting, apologises

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenzie is criticising the conduct of councillors at yesterday's meeting of the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC).

Read: KSAMC councillors in nasty political clash

At the meeting, People's National Party (PNP) councillors became irate after Susan Senior, the Jamaica Labour Party councillor for the Norbrook Division, shouted that "... a PNP a kill people”, which led to a verbal clash between Senior and Kari Douglas, councillor for the Trafalgar Division.

With legal action threatened by PNP councillor for the Maxfield Park Division in St Andrew, Dennis Gordon, McKenzie said he has asked the Chairman of the Municipal Corporation and Mayor of Kingston and St Andrew, Delroy Williams to investigate the matter.

“It is clear that there are elected representatives who still lack a clear understanding of their purposes and collective mission as members of the KSAMC,” McKenzie said.

He emphasised the need for local government to be lifted into a position of national credibility and respectability, through improved service delivery and inspirational leadership at every level, including, from the elected representatives.

“We went around the country engaging them in sensitisation sessions, in which procedures of and conduct in council meetings was a specific subject area. I am therefore extremely disappointed about the event that has been reported,” McKenzie expressed.

“I will not allow the very significant gains that we have made in Local Government to be eroded in any way, by any councillor, irrespective of the political ticket he or she was elected on.

The councillors were not elected by the people in their divisions to engage in unwholesome conduct in meetings. The elected representatives in the KSAMC in particular are representing the capital city and its environs, and should be aware that all eyes are on them as civic leaders,” McKenzie further expressed.

The local government minister said the public not only deserves, but expects better from practitioners in the system and has apologised to the people of Kingston and St Andrew and to the wider society for this incident.

“I take it seriously, as the person who is ultimately responsible for local government, and I await the outcome of the investigation that I have requested,” McKenzie said.




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