Brown Burke de­fends lo­cal gov­ern­ment stew­ard­ship

Jamaica Gleaner - - SOMETHING EXTRA - Ro­mario.scott@glean­ Christo­pher Serju Gleaner Writer christo­pher.serju@glean­

to talk about,” he re­torted, adding that peo­ple have lost re­spect for the sys­tem of lo­cal gov­ern­ment un­der the PNP ad­min­is­tra­tion.

He slammed those coun­cil­lors who he said knew noth­ing more about their job other than to “move mo­tions to clean drains and to do bush­ing”.

“We want to get rid of these non-per­form­ing PNP coun­cil­lors and PNP may­ors that have de­stroyed lo­cal gov­ern­ment,” he said, while urg­ing the JLP can­di­dates that they must “know the needs of the peo­ple they rep­re­sent”.

In the mean­time, the JLP will be seek­ing to go into over­drive in a mat­ter of days as the party seeks to wres­tle the mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tions from the PNP.

The party is sched­uled to have its an­nual con­fer­ence at the Na­tional Arena in Kingston on Novem­ber 20, but will on Sunday stage a num­ber of con­fer­ences across its four area coun­cils to gather mo­men­tum for the con­fer­ence.

KINGSTON MAYOR An­gela Brown Burke on Sunday de­fended her stew­ard­ship of the Kingston and St An­drew Cor­po­ra­tion (KSAC), as well as the 12 mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tions, all of which have grown in rev­enue un­der the con­trol of the Peo­ple’s Na­tional Party (PNP) since April 2012, when it swept the lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions.

“The vast ma­jor­ity of the bud­get, the money that comes to coun­cil, that we spend is money that we go out there and earn,” Brown Burke said.

“We have been able to earn it be­cause we’ve put lead­er­ship be­hind man­age­ment to cre­ate that thrust to im­prove the rev­enue be­cause we know that to pro­vide the ser­vices that are re­quired by our peo­ple, it has to be fi­nanced, and so we have been fi­nanc­ing it pri­mar­ily through own-source rev­enue. So, Com­rade, when you hear we say we don’t want no­body play pol­i­tics with the Parochial Rev­enue Fund, we are se­ri­ous be­cause it is one of those ded­i­cated sources of rev­enue for the lo­cal gov­ern­ment au­thor­ity,” she told a party meet­ing at the Ja­maica Con­fer­ence Cen­tre, down­town Kingston.

Brown Burke ad­mit­ted that the suc­cess in rev­enue gen­er­a­tion had been achieved with full sup­port of Ja­maica Labour Party (JLP) coun­cil­lors, as lo­cal gov­ern­ment gov­er­nance is not stymied by the di­vi­sive­ness which plagues the Cen­tral Gov­ern­ment ad­min­is­tra­tion. For this rea­son, the PNP vi­cepres­i­dent charged that it was un­fair for the JLP to be rais­ing the is­sues of cor­rup­tion and poor lead­er­ship as part of its cam­paign to un­seat her party.


“In lo­cal gov­ern­ment, there is one team be­cause all de­ci­sions that are taken are taken by coun­cil in com­mit­tee where ev­ery sin­gle coun­cil­lor sits – whether you PNP or you JLP – and the ques­tion I would like to ask to­day is, how many times have you heard any­body get up and say they dis­agree with the de­ci­sions that have been taken; get up and say there are wrong poli­cies be­ing pur­sued? We didn’t hear it then, and they were sit­ting in the coun­cils,” Brown Burke ar­gued. She con­tin­ued: “So nuh badda come mek up the duppy sto­ries now be­cause the

peo­ple of Ja­maica are smart enough to read into that; that be­cause its cam­paign (time) you want to find something to say, weh you couldn’t say in four to five years. So, Com­rades, we have a lot to be proud of.”

On the ques­tion of the ir­reg­u­lar col­lec­tion of solid waste, Brown Burke took aim at Des­mond McKen­zie, min­is­ter of lo­cal gov­ern­ment, who has been on an islandwide cam­paign to clean up the coun­try. The PNP ex­ec­u­tive in­ti­mated that the pub­lic was be­ing mis­led in terms of which agency is re­spon­si­ble for garbage col­lec­tion.


“Some of those who say­ing the par­ish coun­cil this, the mayor this and we must clean up the coun­try, need to know whose re­spon­si­bil­ity it re­ally is, and that re­spon­si­bil­ity is not that of the lo­cal au­thor­i­ties, it is not that of the par­ish coun­cils. So when the Na­tional Solid Waste Man­age­ment Au­thor­ity fails to do its job, we must call on the in­di­vid­u­als at Solid Waste, and we must call on the min­is­ter of lo­cal gov­ern­ment, and we must call on the prime min­is­ter for them to do something. Ev­ery day we re­ceive the com­plaints, ev­ery day we pass it on, ev­ery day we talk about it, but we need to de­clare that this re­spon­si­bil­ity lies squarely at Cen­tral Gov­ern­ment, not at the lo­cal au­thor­ity,” she stressed. On the is­sue of cor­rup­tion, the KSAC chair­man said she wel­comed the

spot­light. “Com­rades, they talk about cor­rup­tion, and we must talk about it, we are not afraid to deal with the is­sue of cor­rup­tion. We not afraid of au­dits, we do sev­eral au­dits sev­eral times per year, we have it open, we have it trans­par­ent, and we have said time and time again, we wel­come au­dits be­cause we wel­come ac­count­abil­ity. And what ac­count­abil­ity means, Com­rades, is that if there is an au­dit and things are not go­ing well, we place them on the ta­ble, and those who need to be held ac­count­able are held ac­count­able; it’s part of the process, and we wel­come it. We are not afraid of it.”

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