Port-of-Spain Mayor fi­nally re­signs

The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL -

Keron Valen­tine, who has held the post of deputy mayor for the past six years, is now the mayor of Portof-Spain,Trinidad.

At 3 pm on Wed­nes­day for­mer Port-of-Spain Mayor Ray­mond Tim Kee ten­dered his res­ig­na­tion to the Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of the Port-ofS­pain City Cor­po­ra­tion. It came two days af­ter he an­nounced his in­ten­tion to re­sign in the face of a pub­lic out­rage, en­dorse­ment from Prime Min­is­ter Keith Row­ley and chair­man of the Peo­ple’s Na­tional Move­ment Franklin Khan, over his vic­tim-blam­ing com­ments in the wake of the mur­der of Ja­panese vis­i­tor Asami Na­gakiya.

Last Fri­day, ac­tivists protested out­side City Hall call­ing for Tim Kee’s res­ig­na­tion. So­cial me­dia was bom­barded with calls for this ter­mi­na­tion and ac­tivists also protested out­side this coun­try’s High Com­mis­sion in Lon­don. While speak­ing to me­dia, fol­low­ing the dis­cov­ery of Na­gakiya’s corpse, Tim Kee raised ques­tions about lewd­ness and vul­gar­ity in Car­ni­val.

He later said his words were taken out of con­text by me­dia pro­fes­sion­als.

This past week­end, Tim Kee first an­nounced plans to re­sign but there was spec­u­la­tion on Mon­day af­ter a Face­book post from his spouse de­fend­ing his ac­tion and stat­ing he had more to do as mayor.

“It was re­ally a sad mo­ment, an un­com­fort­able feel­ing to take over the may­or­ship un­der such cir­cum­stances but in pol­i­tics th­ese things do hap­pen and we are all sad­dened by it,” Valen­tine said Thurs­day.

“We as­sured Mayor Tim Kee that the work of the city will go on and we will stick to his projects.

“I gave him the com­mit­ment that the projects we have started in terms of de­vel­op­ment, I will press on with the sup­port of the coun­cil,” Valen­tine added.

Valen­tine is ex­pected to re­main in of­fice un­til lo­cal govern­ment elec­tions which are due in eight months.

A press re­lease from Tim Kee stated that he ac­cepted full re­spon­si­bil­ity for mak­ing the ref­er­ence that cast a shadow on the death of Na­gakiya whose body was found in the Queen’s Park Sa­van­nah on Ash Wed­nes­day in her Car­ni­val cos­tume.

“I once again ex­tend my sin­cer­est con­do­lences to her fam­ily, friends and coun­try­men and wish that they be com­forted by the out­pour­ing of love which has been demon­strated by so many.

“Her loss is keenly felt as if she were one of our own, as over the years she has shown a deep love for the cul­ture of this coun­try and the na­tional in­stru­ment in par­tic­u­lar,” the re­lease stated.

He said pub­lic of­fi­cials must be held to a high stan­dard of trans­parency, good gov­er­nance and ac­count­abil­ity.

“I did my best and I ac­cept full re­spon­si­bil­ity for my ac­tions and ut­ter­ances. To the peo­ple of this coun­try who feel they have been let down, I un­re­servedly apol­o­gise.

“As I demit of­fice, I wish to en­cour­age all of us as cit­i­zens and lead­ers to act in a man­ner that would best serve Trinidad and Tobago. To the res­i­dents of Port-of-Spain, I am in­deed grate­ful for the op­por­tu­nity to have served you,” he added.

The New Mayor of POS Keron Valen­tine.

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