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Mayor of Kingston and St. Andrew, Senator Desmond McKenzie, has called for greater participation and accountability from councillors at the committee level.
“Councillors must show greater interest and discipline in the committees. The people’s business comes first, and I am expecting to see a greater participation of councillors to committees,” he stated on (Jan. 8) at the swearing in of the 40-member Council at the offices of the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation in downtown Kingston.
Senator McKenzie informed that action is being contemplated against non-performing councillors, while the ban on cell phone usage at Council meetings, will now be extended to committee meetings.
“One of the things that the committee that will be looking at the by-laws of Council will have to look at (is) where people are negligent in refusing to come to committee meetings, that. we can replace a non-performing councillor at the level of the committee,” he stated.
He noted that the Council is “driven by committees” and that attendance at these meetings is even more important than the Council meetings.
The Mayor at the ceremony, announced the members of the various committees, which will serve the Council.
The Finance Committee will be chaired by Councillor Vernon McLeod of the Havendale Division; the Public Health and Disaster Preparation Committee will be chaired by Joel Levy of the Chancery Hall Division; the Civic Affairs Committee chair has been retained by Tosha Schwapp of the Stony Hill Division; and the Road and Traffic Committee will be chaired by Audley Gordon of the Hughenden Division.
Deputy Mayor and Councillor for the Whitehall Division, Lee Clarke, will chair the Building Committee; the Commercial Services Committee will be chaired by Robert Williams of the Norbrook Division; while Neville Whittaker of the Gordon Town Division retains the Procurement Committee chair.
The Trust Committee has a new chairperson in the form of Delroy Williams of Seivright Gardens; Cislyn Brown retains the chair for the Disciplinary Committee; while Mayor McKenzie also maintains chairmanship of the Establishment Committee.
Lorna Leslie of the Denham Town Division returns as chair for the Poor Relief Committee; and Angela Brown-Burke of the Norman Gardens Division will chair the Oversight Committee. Mayor McKenzie will chair the General Purposes Committee, which comprises all the chairmen of the various committees.
In the meantime, there are two new bodies – the Bipartisan Committee, which will hear the concerns of councillors, will be chaired by Mr. McLeod of Havendale, and the Properties and Investment Committee, which will be chaired by Councillor of the Red Hills Division, Answerd Ramcharan. According to Mayor McKenzie, the Properties and Investment Committee will “look at all the KSAC assets and will seek to increase the Council’s current revenue earning capacity”.