Outgoing mayor says 'bittersweet' farewell to 'poster' corporation

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Outgoing mayor says 'bittersweet' farewell to 'poster' corporation

BY HORACE HINES
Staff reporter
hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, September 11, 2020

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — It was with mixed emotions when St James Southern Member of Parliament-elect Homer Davis delivered his final speech as chairman of the St James Municipal Corporation and mayor of Montego Bay yesterday.

The outgoing mayor, who ran on a Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) ticket in the September 3 General Election, polled 7,223 votes to defeat first-time candidate Dr Walton Small of the People's National Party (PNP), who amassed 5,275 votes.

“Today (yesterday) is a bittersweet day for me, a sentiment which I know is shared by my councillors and members of staff of the St James Municipal Corporation,” Davis said during yesterday's municipal corporation monthly meeting at the Montego Bay Civic Centre.

A solemn-looking Davis expressed satisfaction that during his tenure at the helm of the municipality, he managed to lead the mission of raising the esteem of the corporation, which he argued had plunged drastically prior to 2016 when he took over the reins of the municipality.

“When I was appointed chairman of the St James Municipal Corporation and mayor of Montego Bay, my first order of business was to set about restoring the image, reputation and integrity of the corporation, which, over many years before, had taken a battering and had lost the public's respect.

“I remember meeting with the members of staff and... outlined my vision, and four years later I can reflect as a happy mayor and state that my mission has been accomplished,” Davis said.

He added: “I leave the corporation knowing that, as a team, we have raised the bar and have placed the St James Municipal Corporation as the poster corporation of Jamaica — the benchmark by which other corporations are judged.”

Davis recounted that in 2007, when he was elected as the JLP councillor for the Cambridge Division, he did not have any ambition to be elevated to the positions of mayor or Member of Parliament. However, on his third attempt at the national polls, Davis was successful in his bid to become a legislator, after having back-to-back losses in 2011 and 2016 to Derrick Kellier.

His win in St James Southern last week broke a 31-year stranglehold on the constituency by the PNP.

According to Davis he is leaving the corporation in “good hands”.

“...Knowing well that my councillors will continue to perform to the expectations of the people of St James,” he insisted.

However, for the most part, councillors from both sides of the political fence, along with the chief executive officer of the municipal corporation all expressed that Davis will be leaving a void that will be hard to fill in their farewell speeches.

Davis is expected on Sunday to hand over the baton to Deputy Mayor Leeroy Williams during an installation ceremony scheduled for the Montego Bay Civic Centre.


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