No ‘roadblock’: Portmore Mayor, Leon Thomas, dismisses Edwards’ claim Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

The incumbent mayor-candidate for the Portmore Municipality, the People’s National Party’s (PNP) Leon Thomas, has rubbished a claim by his challenger, the Jamaica Labour Party’s (JLP) Markland Edwards, that the municipality has routinely blocked development projects in the dormitory community.

Edwards made the claim during an interview with Loop News, but Thomas has strongly rebutted the assertion.

“When you’re on the Opposition side, you tend to oppose, oppose, oppose because you don’t want to give credit to the Administration that is in power,” Edwards remarked during the interview.

“We need to walk away and move away from that kind of approach because when we do that we become an albatross to prosperity and progress, and we need to ensure that whatever we do, if it’s going to be beneficial to the people who elected us to serve, why not let it happen?” Edwards added.

He charged that the current PNP mayoral leadership in Portmore “has ‘roadblocked’ lots of plans and lots of progress; they’ve stalled a lot of projects that should have been implemented years ago, and we want to move away from that.”

Edwards did not name any project that was stymied by the leadership of the municipality.

A part of moving away from that kind of approach, according to Edwards, is to make sure that the municipality has a mayor from the governing party, who is on the same page as Central Government.

“If we’re a part of the same organisation then things will flow, things will happen in record time because you don’t have to worry about the red tapes and the bureaucracy,” he stated, adding that “things can be done quicker if you’re on the same side, if you’re on one accord.”

Markland Edwards

Thomas has shot down the claim while stating that “the only development that the municipality shut down is the one that (Prime Minister) Andrew Holness broke ground for, which did not get any approval from NEPA, nor nobody on the parish council (municipal corporation)”.

He was referring to a housing development that is taking place at 3 North in Greater Portmore in the vicinity of the Ascot community. Thomas said the developers eventually got the approval of the municipal corporation for the development to proceed.

“Markland just running up him mouth and talking stuff that he knows nothing about,” said Thomas while vowing that everyone must abide by the law when it comes to development projects being approved in the Sunshine City.

To bolster his argument of facilitating development, Thomas pointed to several large-scale projects that have been undertaken in Portmore over recent years, including the three buildings constructed by business process outsourcing company, IBEX, as well as those constructed by PriceSmart, Fontana Pharmacy and Courts, and the entry of Starbucks to the municipality.

“And there are many more to come,” said Thomas.