Time to debate the Rex Nettleford report!

Time to debate the Rex Nettleford report!

Monday, July 13, 2020

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Dear Editor,

One of the greatest minds of the local government system, and a true believer in the poor of Jamaica, was the late former Mayor Josiah Adolphus George (JAG) Myers. He would have done great things had he been given the chance.

For over 25 years I have written and pleaded through resolutions for local government to be entrenched in the constitution. It has been over 16 years of spending millions of dollars with young business owners in trying to get a lottery game for the local government system. With a lottery owned by the people, directed and governed by local government and the private sector, councillors and citizens' associations would not have to go begging for handouts to fix roads, water systems, drains, rivers, and garbage collection.

From this scheme over 5,000 of the poorest of the poor would be working full-time fixing roads, drains, building and installing gabion baskets in rivers and hillsides. The system would be able to sell gabion baskets to other countries in the Caribbean that require their use.

It is a mystery why governments do not want to give local government full autonomy so that councils/municipalities and councillors would not have to be begging from ministers handouts to do what is to be done.

For more than 10 years now the Rex Nettleford report has been in the House awaiting a debate, but none of the political parties want a strong local government system — an embedded local government system that would give councillors and community groups power over their own destiny. It would see a mayor elected by the people and not selected.

Local government is the people's ministry and the time is now for the Rex Nettleford report to be debated.

Give the people their rights!

Councillor Lee Clarke

Former mayor of Kingston

Whitehall Division

Kingston 8


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