Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Elec­tions 2016: Vot­ers speak.

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE - Ed­mond Camp­bell Se­nior Staff Reporter

FRED EWERS, an el­derly res­i­dent of Amity Hall, St Thomas, was un­fazed by the swel­ter­ing heat of the sun as he moves his hand in a cir­cu­lar mo­tion with a ‘float’, skil­fully cre­at­ing a level sur­face on the fresh con­crete he had ear­lier poured to fill out a huge pot­hole, just me­tres in front his yard which is perched on a hill.

The Gleaner’s news team was in St Thomas, en route to Port­land, bat­tling a se­ries of ob­sta­cle cour­ses in the form of mas­sive pot­holes along the way, when the small frame of a man bent in the mid­dle of the road caused us to come to a halt.

Asked why he had taken upon him­self the task of re­pair­ing the mas­sive pot­hole, Ewers sighed be­fore ex­plain­ing that the com­mu­nity had been ne­glected over the years by both the mem­ber of par­lia­ment and the coun­cil­lor.

“To be hon­est with you, af­ter the gen­eral elec­tion, it’s only two times I saw him. I saw him two days ago and I think it’s be­cause the par­ish coun­cil elec­tions are near,” Ewers said in ref­er­ence to Lud­low Mathi­son, who is the coun­cil­lor for the Bath divi­sion as well as mayor of Mo­rant Bay. The mem­ber of par­lia­ment is Dr Fen­ton Fer­gu­son.

politi­cians,don’ttime “What come­just hap­pen be­cause­aroundyou un­til know,with they elec­tion these want they your vote, af­ter that they don’t care about you again,” he said.

Ewers, a res­i­dent in Amity Hall for more than 23 years, de­scribed the com­mu­nity as a good place to live, not­ing that it was crime-free. “I don’t even think a mur­der has ever been com­mit­ted in this com­mu­nity,” he beamed with pride.

He told The Gleaner that

most of the res­i­dents in Amity Hall were in­volved in farm­ing or worked at a sugar cane es­tate in the com­mu­nity.

How­ever, he stressed that the de­plorable state of the roads was pos­ing a se­ri­ous chal­lenge not only to farm­ers, but to per­sons who passed through the area to reach their des­ti­na­tions. “When I was grow­ing up, I know that ve­hi­cle usu­ally pick where to drive. Now, if you are walk­ing, you have to pick where to walk,” Ewers quipped.

In an ear­lier in­ter­view, Mathi­son told The Gleaner that coun­cil­lors in St Thomas come un­der tremen­dous pres­sure from res­i­dents about the state of parochial roads in the par­ish. “In terms of the Bath divi­sion,

the breeze don’t have to blow hard and the rain dew, and you have a lot of land slip­page, so you have to con­stantly ser­vice the roads ev­ery month,” he pointed out. “Coun­cil­lors get a lot of pres­sure out there, you know, be­cause even since I am back (from abroad) the pres­sure I am get­ting from the peo­ple in the Bath divi­sion, mi a tell you. Prob­a­bly if is some­body else dem mad; it nuh easy on we as coun­cil­lors,” Mathi­son stressed. The mayor, who had been out of the is­land for a short while ow­ing to ill­ness, will be con­test­ing the Novem­ber 28 lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions in the Bath divi­sion.

RU­DOLPH BROWN/PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

The Bow­den Road in St Thomas makes life mis­er­able for mo­torists and pedes­tri­ans alike.

Fred Ewers, with his own re­sources, de­cided to pave a sec­tion of this road in Amity Hall, St Thomas.

Lud­low Mathi­son, mayor of Mo­rant Bay.

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