KSAC found wanting
Something must be radically wrong at the the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation, if current reports are accurate that councillors are going on a retreat at a prestigious all-inclusive north coast hotel at taxpayers’ expense.
Were the mayor, the town clerk and their advisers not thinking about the expense when the country is facing challenging economic times? Incidents like this probably justify the wait for the IMF as our leaders have lost focus. In addition, it represents the disregard our leaders have towards administering our affairs.
As someone who works in the downtown area weekly, I see a myriad of things that this money could have contributed to improving. Why not start with a clean-up of immediate areas surrounding the council’s office like in front of the Supreme Court and General Post Office? Has the mayor not seen that the black olive trees on the sidewalks are in need of pruning and the many lanes and corners that have become latrines to vagrants need a proper hosing down by the Fire Department?
What about the scores of homeless people that now reside at “Justice Square”, some even cooking meals on open fires? What about the tons of uncollected garbage all over the city? What about the numerous pothole-riddled roads that could urgently do with some asphalt patching? What of the thousands of dollars that can be earned from removing trucks and other vehicles that have been parked for months on roads such as East Road connecting to Omara Road? What about the numerous vendors that have taken over bus stops or roadsides like the corner of Waltham and Hagley Park roads, forcing pedestrians to walk in the street?
It is a known fact that public order has broken down in this country and sadly it seems the KSAC has no plans on assisting to halt this slide. The recent downtown shopping campaign and the drive to get small business owners to register and pay up unpaid licensing fees could be considered positives, but apart from those moves the council seems to lack energy. Why has the council allowed designated parking spaces on roads such as Ocean Boulevard to be controlled by men claiming to be car washers and “parking attendants”, marking spaces with cones? This promotion of this “lef a t’ing wid mi” by these miscreants is causing daily squabbles with motorists like myself. Lastly, why can’t the KSAC have the fish vendors at locations like Rose Lane clean up the waste of their trade daily? All the above could be perceived to be a clear abdication of its responsibilities.
I would strongly encourage the council to concentrate its efforts on revenue enhancement ventures like trying to collect the potential $75 million that can be collected annually from trade licences. If these are achieved, then a retreat would be a most suitable reward. It seems somewhere in the picture the council has lost the focus of its mission statement to provide services that will “enhance the quality of life” of us constituents.
Dudley IH McFarlane