Mayor withdraws resignation after PNP consultationFriday, July 16, 2021
BY KASEY WILLIAMS
MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Donovan Mitchell withdrew his resignation as mayor of Mandeville and chairman of the Manchester Municipal Corporation, reportedly at the urging of at least one senior member of the Opposition People's National Party (PNP).
Hopeton McCatty, chairman of the PNP's Region Five — Manchester and St Elizabeth —confirmed yesterday that Mitchell was spoken to by “people within the party”.
“I have not had a chance to speak with him [Mitchell] at all, but I have been reliably informed that it has been withdrawn. People from within the party spoke with him. I know that at least one vice-president [who did],” McCatty told the Jamaica Observer by telephone.
Mitchell, in a letter late yesterday, which was addressed to chief executive officer of the municipal corporation Winston Palmer said he looked forward to continuing his work with the municipality as chairman.
The news of him withdrawing his resignation followed an earlier letter that he had resigned.
He had said in his resignation letter that he believes his colleagues have lost confidence in him as mayor.
Mitchell, who represents the Opposition People's National Party, had also said he would remain as councillor for the Royal Flat Division until the next elections are called.
Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) minority leader Cleon Francis told the Observer that the crossing of the floor by councillor for the John's Hall Division Faith Sampson last July from the PNP to the JLP (reducing the PNP's majority to 8-7) showed that there was tension.
“Just as the letter has said, he [Mitchell] has lost the confidence of some of the councillors on both sides. There is an issue with the fact Councillor [Sampson] had crossed the floor, so you know that a tension would have been there. It is starting to boil up now and with the People's National Party preparing for their conference. Everybody is trying to prove themselves as relevant, so there are lots of utterances on campaign stages which are affecting people personally,” said Francis.
When contacted yesterday, Mitchell responded via WhatsApp that queries be referred to Palmer.
Late last year Mitchell dispelled rumours that he had intentions of crossing the floor in the council to join the JLP.
Mitchell, who was the campaign manager for Peter Bunting's bid in the September 3, 2020 General Election, had told councillors that crossing the floor was not part of the agenda.
“If such would be done we would be in some serious constitutional matters,” he said.