McKenzie pledges to champion behaviour changes among councillors Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Following claims levelled by some residents on the recent Local Government Election campaign trail that some councillors were either not known to them or not visible in their respective divisions, Portfolio Minister Desmond McKenzie says he will be pushing for the elected officials to change such behaviours.

“I will champion the cause for councillors to become more accountable, for councillors to be transparent, for councillors to be seen and be felt in their respective divisions,” declared McKenzie.

He was addressing the swearing-in ceremony of councillors at the Trelawny Municipal Corporation (TMC) in Falmouth on Thursday.

The Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) Colin Gager was returned as Chairman of the TMC and Mayor of Falmouth.

McKenzie said a number of polls were conducted ahead of the February 26 municipal elections, which indicated that “persons in every parish say they don’t know the mayor, (or) they don’t know the councillor” in the respective divisions.

“For me, that don’t sound good,” McKenzie said, adding that an extensive sensitisation programme will be undertaken with councillors in the next two weeks to, among other things, remind them of their roles.

A handbook for councillors is to be revised and made available to them shortly, the minister said.

In a few months, he said the ministry will be releasing “a guide” for the public to understand the roles and functions of local government.

McKenzie urged Gager and the other eight councillors of the parish’s municipal corporation to take note of what the people have been saying relative to local government representation.

“We have been listening as a Government. We’re not afraid to say that we have heard the call of the people, and we’re prepared to respond,” he indicated.

Added McKenzie: “I promise you that we will continue to be fair, (and) impartial in how we manage the affairs of local government.”