Stop Playing Politics With Parish Councils Income Mayor Harris! -Sinclair

Release Date: 
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 15:00

Minority Leader for the JLP in the St James Parish Council, Councillor Charles Sinclair says the Mayor of Montego Bay, Glendon Harris, is playing politics with the people’s business.

Councillor Sinclair says he is concerned that the mayor recently decided to use his political majority in a vulgar way to stop debate on a resolution, which was requesting that the council to take legal steps, including Court action, to recover 28 Million dollars from business persons occupying prime real estate owned by the council. These persons he notes continue to occupy properties known as the Bogue Lands, without paying rent.

He says, “These lands and assets are valued at over 400 million and the council is not collecting a dollar despite the fact that the businesses located there are generating significant financial returns. Politically connected individuals, including a well known PNP Councillor and a former PNP Councillor, are also benefiting from this irregularity as they are among the persons who have rented property owned by the council”.

Mr. Sinclair went on to note that with the council being severely cash strapped, these assets must become revenue generating for the benefit of the council and citizens of the parish: “The JPS recently disconnected electricity at the St James Infirmary, The Charles Garden Market and have recently threatened to disconnect the main building of the council. The council currently owes over 24 million dollars for utilities and to agencies up to October 2014, including NHT and NIS contributions for employees of the council. This while failing to take appropriate steps to collect the outstanding 28 Million dollars of revenue”.

Mr. Sinclair says he is very concerned with the state of the finances of the council and what is clearly a mismanagement of the council’s affairs. “The Mayor is trying desperately to hide the fact that his administration is failing the people of St James. His refusal to debate the resolution shows that they are not interested in transparency and proper fiscal management but only in hiding illegal benefits to their genetically connected friends. This matter needs to be probed by the Auditor General and the Minister of Local government as it hints at corruption and gross mismanagement”.

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