JIS News

Twenty-three students drawn from primary and high schools in Portmore yesterday (November 10) assumed leadership of the municipality, when they participated in a junior council meeting, the first to be organized by the Portmore Municipal Council.
Participating schools were Portmore Missionary, Naggo Head Primary, Bright Beginnings Educational Centre, Braeton Primary and Junior High, Belmont Park Primary, Bridgeport High, Portmore Community College, Cumberland High and Waterford High.
The event, held at the Portmore Pines offices of the Council, was part of activities to mark Local Government and Community Development month and saw students being appointed mayor, councillors, administrative and technical staff of the municipality for the day and deliberating on issues which affect the community.
Gisselle Kamaka of Kensington Primary School, who represented the Portmore East Division called for the installation of a pedestrian crossing in front of the school located at South East 3rd street in Greater Portmore. She noted also, that a number of accidents occurred in front of the school and suggested that a stoplight be erected or a traffic warden be placed there. “I’m begging you, please do something, please do something, children are dying,” she pleaded.
Gisselle said that students attending the school were fearful of crossing the street and even when they were assisted in doing so, impatient drivers would not allow them to cross. She gave an account of how she was nearly hit by a bus while attempting to cross the street but was pulled back by a friend.
Some of the issues raised by other “councillors” included the need for health facilities to be upgraded, improper garbage disposal, poor garbage collection, blocked drains and mosquito nuisance. The junior councillors also mentioned the need for more cultural and sporting facilities, especially for young people.
Mayor of Portmore George Lee congratulated the young people for making the event a success.
“It was very successful; the students were bright and they dealt with issues affecting Portmore and it was good for the councillors to engage the students in terms of hearing their views and vision of Portmore,” he said.
He said that the Council was “grappling” with some of the concerns raised and would be making efforts to tackle the sporting, cultural and environmental issues.
The Mayor, however, warned that while the municipality was expected to perform, the citizens of Portmore “have a responsibility also to pay their taxes and to see to it that when we clean the drains, they remain clean.”
“It’s a two way street, it’s an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) between ourselves and the citizens of Portmore,” he emphasised.

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