Minister McKenzie Wants Equal Pay for Mayors

Photo: Garwin Davis Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, addresses a sensitisation session for newly elected local government representatives at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James on December 12.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says he will be pursuing discussions towards ensuring parity in the remuneration of mayors across the island.
  • Currently, the mayors and deputy mayors in Kingston and St. Andrew, Portmore, and Montego Bay, are paid at a higher level than those in other townships.
  • Mr. McKenzie said parity in the salaries of mayors and deputy mayors is something that he feels strongly about and is prepared to champion in the interest of fairness and transparency.

Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says he will be pursuing discussions towards ensuring parity in the remuneration of mayors across the island.

Currently, the mayors and deputy mayors in Kingston and St. Andrew, Portmore, and Montego Bay, are paid at a higher level than those in other townships.

“The disparity between what I used to get when I was the Mayor of the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation ( KSAC) and what my friends in Montego Bay and Portmore are getting, compared with the other mayors in the other parishes has to stop,” Minister McKenzie said.

“There has to be an equal playing field right across the board. We want to have those discussions where we can get this thing straightened out. This is long overdue,” he added.

He was addressing a sensitisation session for newly elected local government representatives held on December 12 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James.

Mr. McKenzie said parity in the salaries of mayors and deputy mayors is something that he feels strongly about and is prepared to champion in the interest of fairness and transparency.

“We, however, will have to demonstrate by our actions that the public will indeed be getting value for money and that the parish councils are actually delivering quality local governance to the people,” he pointed out.

He noted that many of the country’s national heroes, prime ministers and ministers served at the local government level, earning the respect and admiration of the public, and should be emulated by today’s crop of local representatives.

“In the old days, those persons used to carry themselves in a way where we had to look up to them. They were outstanding public servants that paid their dues and commanded respect from both friends and foes,” he pointed out.

The Minister noted that with the life of the council increasing from two to four years, councillors have no excuse but to perform the tasks to which they were elected.

He urged mayors to be more assertive and proactive, noting that the behaviour of councillors will be a reflection of the entire parish council.

“We have some forms that speak to integrity and personal assets and I urge you to ensure they are read by all the councillors,” Mr. McKenzie said.

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