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Pastor of the Port Antonio Seventh Day Adventist Church in Portland, Rev. Augustus McLeod, is urging Parish Councils to exercise their authority and responsibilities in a manner that ensures that the best interest of the people they represent is served.
Delivering the sermon at a service to mark the launch of Local Government Month, Rev. McLeod said the impending Local Government reform measures to be implemented, will require Parish Councils to undertake their duties “more seriously”, as they continue to strive to promote social and economic development in their jurisdictions.
The pastor stressed that a spiritual change is needed in Jamaica, if the country is to rid itself of the challenges currently being experienced, adding that Parish Councils are ideally positioned to play lead roles in effecting the necessary changes by virtue of the responsibilities vested in them.
In exhorting the Councils to perform their functions objectively, Rev. McLeod also admonished them to ensure that their actions and activities are underpinned by transparency and accountability.
In encouraging the residents of Portland to support the Parish Council’s efforts at promoting and undertaking community development, Rev. McLeod urged them fulfill their civic duties by paying their taxes. This, he added, will ensure that the Parish Council is able to effectively discharge its responsibilities to them.
In his message to mark the launch, which was read by the Director of Finance at the Parish Council, Janet Salmon, State Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Local Government Reform, Robert.
Montague, highlighted the impending implementation of local government reform, and urged Parish Councils to ensure that the measures are effectively administered, when they come on stream.
Earlier in the service, Mayor of Port Antonio, Councillor Floyd Patterson, in extending greetings, assured the congregation that the Portland Parish Council is fully committed to providing the best quality service to the citizens of the parish, and appealed for their support to ensure that the Councilors are able to deliver.