Out­go­ing Mon­tego Bay mayor stay­ing in politics

Jamaica Gleaner - - SOMETHING EXTRA - Christo­pher Thomas Gleaner Writer leon.jack­son@glean­erjm.com christo­pher.thomas@glean­erjm.com

WEST­ERN BUREAU: DE­SPITE SUF­FER­ING de­feat in Mon­day’s lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions, busi­ness­man Glen­don Har­ris, the out­go­ing mayor of Mon­tego Bay, has no plans to walk away from rep­re­sen­ta­tional politics and in­tends to re­main the Peo­ple’s Na­tional Party’s (PNP) care­taker for the Ma­roon Town di­vi­sion in St James.

“I will con­tinue to serve my peo­ple ... . This ex­pe­ri­ence just gives me an op­por­tu­nity to go and up­lift my busi­nesses and to serve the peo­ple,” said Har­ris, who rep­re­sented the Ma­roon Town di­vi­sion for 26 con­sec­u­tive years be­fore his re­cent de­feat.

At the end of the polls, the some­times con­tro­ver­sial Har­ris lost his bid for re-elec­tion when he was beaten by his Ja­maica Labour Party (JLP) chal­lenger Everes Coke.

Coke polled 1,071 votes to Har­ris’ 990 votes.

COM­MIT­MENT TO THE PEO­PLE

“I am go­ing to con­tinue as the care­taker for the di­vi­sion [of Ma­roon Town],” said Har­ris, who is also the out­go­ing chair­man of the St James Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion.

“My com­mit­ment to my peo­ple and com­mu­nity will not just wa­ver like that. You get a set­back to get a set-up, and you con­vert a mess into a mes­sage. I am sure the mes­sage will come in short or­der.”

Har­ris, who served as pres­i­dent of the Ja­maica Agri­cul­tural So­ci­ety (JAS) prior to be­com­ing the 15th mayor of Mon­tego Bay, plans to con­tinue work­ing closely with the farm­ers in his di­vi­sion go­ing for­ward.

“I will con­tinue to work with the farm­ers, which is an­other vol­un­tary ef­fort,” said Har­ris, who de­clined to say whether he plans to re-seek the pres­i­dency of the JAS.

“I can­not speak to the JAS pres­i­dency for right now,” said Har­ris, who is cur­rently vi­cepres­i­dent of the JAS.

“I am also a farmer and a tour op­er­a­tor, and I need to get back into all those things and get them back to the level they ought to be be­cause of my neg­li­gence to them in my plac­ing em­pha­sis on politics.”

Har­ris, who many see as the man the PNP will use to re­place Der­rick Kel­lier – the party’s long­stand­ing mem­ber of par­lia­ment (MP) in South­ern St James – when he calls time on his ca­reer in rep­re­sen­ta­tional politics, was fairly con­fi­dent of vic­tory go­ing into the lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions.

“We have done the most patch­ing and road re­pairs across the par­ish ... more than ever be­fore,” Har­ris said in an in­ter­view on the eve of the elec­tions. “We im­ple­mented the Com­mu­nity Pride part­ner­ship pro­gramme. We re­ha­bil­i­tated the Dome [in Mon­tego Bay] and gave it a facelift ... look at the clock (on Bar­nett Street). We have up­graded the side­walk, put in the me­dian, and done some re­pairs to the clock tower.”

HAR­RIS

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