Pat­more sat­is­fied, but walk­ing away

Jamaica Gleaner - - WESTERN FOCUS - Clau­dia Gard­ner As­sign­ment Co­or­di­na­tor

WESTERN BU­REAU: ES­PITE GRAD­ING him­self a nine out of 10 for his four-year stint as the coun­cil­lor for the Lorimers di­vi­sion in the Trelawny Parish Coun­cil, busi­ness­man Paul Pat­more, who ran and won as an in­de­pen­dent can­di­date, will not be seek­ing re-elec­tion in the up­com­ing lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions.

Pat­more says his de­ci­sion not to seek re-elec­tion was as a re­sult of some of the choices he made in the 2012 elec­tion cam­paign, which he felt have come back to haunt him.

“My ten­ure has been a suc­cess, and it (pol­i­tics) is some­thing I may do again, but I would have to change my ap­proach,” said Pat­more. “I think I blun­dered in the way I cam­paigned. I cam­paigned us­ing the same method of

Dthe PNP (Peo­ple’s Na­tional Party) and the JLP (Ja­maica Labour Party) — go­ing around, hand­ing out scarce ben­e­fits and spoils to seek votes, and that is the only re­gret that I have.”

“So now, peo­ple come to me for things all the time and I try to ex­plain to them that it can­not work that way,” con­tin­ued Pat­more. “... Be­fore I was elected and some­body come and ask me for as­sis­tance with, for ex­am­ple, school fees, I al­ways tried to as­sist in some small way.”

TREATED FAIRLY

De­spite be­ing an in­de­pen­dent coun­cil­lor, Pat­more said he was treated fairly, as the coun­cil’s re­sources was eq­ui­tably dis­trib­uted among all coun­cil­lors.

“I wouldn’t say it was chal­leng­ing be­cause, con­trary to what you hear, every sin­gle month we re­ceived our al­lo­ca­tions for work to be done in our di­vi­sions,” said Pat­more. “It is only two times we have re­ceived less than $200,000 per month, in 48 months. So we were able to ad­dress all con­cerns – drains, road patch­ing and such.”

While he is proud of some projects, he is some­what sad­dened that some com­mu­ni­ties were not able to ac­cess ser­vices such as street lights and garbage col­lec­tion be­cause res­i­dents did not own the lands and were not pay­ing prop­erty taxes.

“One of my sig­na­ture projects is the Paul Pat­more Wa­ter Project in the Lowe River area, which pro­vides close to 100 house­holds with wa­ter,” said Pat­more. “I know where all the street­lights are and I know when they are not work­ing.”

For those per­sons who will be seek­ing to en­ter the fray as in­de­pen­dent can­di­dates in the im­pend­ing elec­tions, Pat­more had this to say: “They have to know what they are about .... and not a case that they wanted to run for one of the par­ties and there is no space . ... As long as they want to make a dif­fer­ence ... be­cause all of us do go in with good in­ten­tions.”

PAT­MORE

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