A tale of four sen­si­ble may­ors

Daily Observer (Jamaica) - - LETTERS -

THERE is much en­cour­age­ment in the news car­ried by the Ja­maica Ob­server West yes­ter­day that may­ors across the four west­ern parishes (West­more­land, hanover, St James, and Trelawny) have pub­licly stated their in­ten­tions to work with the po­lice and other govern­ment agen­cies in clamp­ing down on il­le­gal street vend­ing in non-des­ig­nated ar­eas.

This is a mat­ter that has al­ways been with us and is a touchy po­lit­i­cal sub­ject, es­pe­cially dur­ing the Yule­tide sea­son. It is an is­sue to which many of our lo­cal govern­ment of­fi­cials have, over many years, turned a blind eye in or­der not to rock the boat of their sup­port­ers and to pro­tect their lofty po­si­tions.

This blind-eye po­lit­i­cal prac­tice has led to un­sightly cities and towns with mas­sive garbage pile-up caus­ing a po­ten­tial health risk, plus there is al­ways a cramp­ing of space mak­ing it rather dif­fi­cult for oth­ers who are not ven­dors or po­ten­tial cus­tomers to ne­go­ti­ate.

The po­lice, in the past, have of­ten com­plained about their in­ef­fec­tive­ness to deal with crim­i­nals when our side­walks and road­ways are clut­tered with ven­dors parad­ing their wares in or­der to make a sale.

In­deed, we be­lieve that the po­lice must have clear ac­cess to all our pub­lic spa­ces with­out any ob­struc­tion from ven­dors and their goods.

The words of Mon­tego Bay Mayor Coun­cil­lor homer Davis ring out: “One thing I can as­sure you is that we will be work­ing very closely with the Ja­maica Con­stab­u­lary Force, be­cause I know there is a new thrust from the com­mis­sioner of po­lice that pub­lic spa­ces must at all times give free and un­fet­tered ac­cess to the pub­lic; and wher­ever il­le­gal vend­ing or il­le­gal ob­struc­tion are tak­ing place, then the po­lice have the au­thor­ity un­der the var­i­ous acts to not only to re­move those per­sons, but to pros­e­cute them.”

The rule of law has to be doggedly pur­sued if the coun­try is to progress, grow and de­velop.

Let us be abun­dantly clear that this news­pa­per is not for one sec­ond sug­gest­ing or even in­ti­mat­ing that Ja­maicans must not be given a chance to make an hon­est liv­ing. Ab­so­lutely not! We boldly and with­out equiv­o­ca­tion en­cour­age the en­tre­pre­neur­ial drive and spirit of all Ja­maicans. But to do so at the ex­pense of the rights and com­fort of oth­ers is no longer ac­cept­able.

The var­i­ous mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tions, as sug­gested by the may­ors, have to aid the process by pro­vid­ing des­ig­nated ar­eas for ven­dors to ply their trade in a clean and en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly at­mos­phere. If this is not done in a timely man­ner prob­lems are go­ing to oc­cur lead­ing to pos­si­ble con­flicts, which are un­wanted at this time.

After these ar­eas are des­ig­nated, then the ven­dors must com­ply and use the space provided in the con­duct of their busi­nesses.

In Ja­maica, we have all grown ac­cus­tomed to prom­ises made which are never ful­filled by our politi­cians. We, there­fore, hope that the four may­ors of the west­ern parishes carry out their du­ties with re­gard to the vend­ing is­sue quickly and de­ci­sively, and not wait un­til they are be over­run as the Christ­mas sea­son takes hold.

We ex­pect that even as they take note of the dec­la­ra­tion of their four west­ern col­leagues, may­ors in the other nine parishes will al­ready have started to put their own plans in place.

Ex­cept for the views ex­pressed in the col­umn above, the ar­ti­cles pub­lished on this page do not nec­es­sar­ily rep­re­sent the views of the Ja­maica Ob­server. Dear Edi­tor,

It’s been ob­served that lead­ers are not play­ing their role as lead­ers. Many lead­ers in to­day’s world put down the young peo­ple be­cause they don’t want them to reach their goal.

Re­cently I was at a meet­ing talk­ing about the is­sue tak­ing place in the coun­try. My main is­sue was stu­dents get­ting ex­pelled from school be­cause of their low grades. For ex­am­ple, at Cal­abar High School boys got ex­pelled from school be­cause of their grades, and many of them were par­tic­i­pants in school ac­tiv­ity. They were lack­ing in mo­ti­va­tion from teach­ers.

That’s why stu­dents can’t learn in school, be­cause the teach­ers and prin­ci­pals don’t mo­ti­vate their stu­dents. That’s why the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem is lack­ing.

An­other is­sue I have with some of the lead­ers is that they don’t in­ter­act with the young peo­ple. That’s why we have so much crime in Ja­maica, be­cause there is no so­cial in­ter­ac­tion.

Too many lead­ers in both the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors do not mo­ti­vate their em­ploy­ees; they pres­sure them and don’t look out for good work­ers. Many work­places sim­ply lack mo­ti­va­tion be­cause man­agers and su­per­vi­sors don’t en­cour­age their teams.

John C Maxwell once said lead­ers must be close enough to re­late to oth­ers, but far enough ahead to mo­ti­vate them. So I am en­cour­ag­ing every leader in Ja­maica and the rest of the world: Let us make our coun­try and the world a bet­ter place by be­ing lead­ers.

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