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PNP's Haughton confirms resignation as Lucea mayor

BY MARK CUMMINGS Editor-at-Large, Western Bureau cummingsm@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, August 25, 2014    

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LUCEA, Hanover — Embattled Mayor of Lucea Shernet Haughton has confirmed her resignation as chairman of the Hanover Parish Council.

"I handed in my resignation letter yesterday (Wednesday), which will take effect on the 28th of August, and I will not be taking it back," Haughton told the Jamaica Observer last Thursday.

Haughton, who is also the People's National Party's (PNP) councillor for the Green Island Division, stressed however, that she will remain councillor for the division.

"The people voted for me and I have to put their interest at heart, so I want to focus on the area," she argued.

For several months, Haughton, her councillors and Member of Parliament for Western Hanover Ian Hayles have been at loggerheads over the leadership of the PNP-dominated local authority.

In March, the PNP councillors wrote a letter to Mayor Haughton expressing their lack of confidence in her leadership of the local authority. That same month, the regular monthly meeting of the Hanover Parish Council was cancelled due to a lack of quorum as the four other PNP councillors, as well as the Independent, boycotted the sitting in protest over Mayor Haughton's handling of the affairs of the local body.

A month later, the embattled mayor survived a no-confidence motion.

Thursday, Haughton told the Observer that she decided to step down because she was not getting the support from the councillors and other stakeholders.

"I really decided that I wanted to take this decision because I think that I am not getting enough support as it relates to working in the town of Lucea as the mayor, so I will just remain as a councillor and concentrate on doing the work of the Green Island Division," she explained.

Meanwhile, councillor for the Chester Castle Division, Wynter McIntosh, is expected to replace Haughton. He will have as his deputy, Neville Claire, the sitting councillor for the Lucea Division.

Both are expected to be sworn in at a ceremony planned for the Hanover Parish Council Municipal Building Thursday.

— Additional reporting by Anthony Lewis

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